House passes ‘unthinkable’ NRA-backed bill lifting local gun restrictions
The Guardian, 12/6/2017
Officials in New York and Los Angeles warn that the legislation would allow an unknown numbers of tourists – perhaps hundreds of thousands each year – to carry concealed handguns into America’s densest urban areas, including Times Square and the New York City subway. Big city police chiefs across the county have spoken out against the bill, calling it a law enforcement nightmare.
The bill, which is the National Rifle Association’s “number one legislative priority” has prompted a renewed battle over states’ rights, with Democrats for once arguing against the power of the federal government, and Republicans hoping to use that federal power to undermine local control…
The NRA-backed legislation would force all states to recognize gun-carrying permits from any other state, including the dozen states that generally do not require any training or permit to carry a gun, a policy called “constitutional carry.”
Coverage of the pro-preemption position of the Firearms Policy Coalition.
House panel considers GOP proposal to preempt local paid leave laws
Human resources officials from two companies told a U.S. House of Representatives panel on Wednesday that a Republican proposal to preempt state and local paid leave laws would be a welcome relief to the costly and burdensome patchwork that employers currently face.
The hearing of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions was the first on paid leave policies since the bill, which would exempt employers who offer some paid leave from state and local laws, was introduced last month.
Murphy: Chicken Fighting Over State Rights
Coverage of the legal battle by at least twelve states suing California over the state’s cage-free egg law arguing it is preempted by federal interstate commerce laws.
State Preemption Efforts Lead to Court Battles on Plastic Pollution
“Preemption” is a legal term to describe when a higher authority takes control of a certain issue or area of regulation. In the world of plastic pollution, preemption is when statewide legislation is used to take away a local city’s right to pass a bag ban, foam ban or other local ordinance to prevent plastic litter. Ten states currently have this type of preemption in the U.S. In two states, Florida and Texas, there is pending litigation over whether preemption exists and whether local municipalities have the right to pass plastic pollution regulations for the betterment of their local communities.
FCC Aims to Cut Out States in Net Neutrality Revamp
Bloomberg BNA, 11/22/2017
The Federal Communications Commission’s plan to scrap existing net neutrality rules includes language pre-empting state and local broadband regulation, a move that already has state attorneys general mulling a court challenge.
The FCC’s draft net neutrality changes, which the agency is set to consider at its Dec. 14 meeting, include language overriding states that may prefer the current, stricter rules that bar broadband providers like AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from blocking or slowing data traffic on their networks or offering a speedier tier of service for a higher price…
If the pre-emption language survives, it would thwart state officials who may want to come up with their own net neutrality rules. The language would prevent Silicon Valley powerhouses from lobbying state officials “and trying to get them to do net neutrality at the state level,” Fred Campbell, director of policy group Tech Knowledge and a former senior FCC official, told Bloomberg Law.
State attorneys general are more likely to go to court against the FCC than champion state legislation, Campbell said. More than a dozen state attorneys general opposed Pai’s proposed measure in a July comment. The Maryland and Connecticut attorneys general are reviewing Pai’s plan, spokespeople said.
FCC will also order states to scrap plans for their own net neutrality laws
Ars Technica, 11/21/2017
FCC Must Pre-empt Laws Which Undermine Broadband Authority
NewsMax Finance, 11/20/2017
A pro-federal preemption opinion piece on broadband laws.
Challenging and Preventing Policies That Prohibit Local Civil Rights Protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People
Jennifer L. Pomeranz JD, MPH. American Journal of Public Health, 11/21/2017
Discrimination causes health inequities for stigmatized groups. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, in particular, are at significantly increased risk for disparate health outcomes when they reside in states that fail to extend equal protections to them or that actively deprive equal rights to them.
Several states and the federal government have proposed or enacted laws that permit residents to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals. One such law, Arkansas’s Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act of 2015, preempts or prohibits local governments from enacting civil rights protections for LGBTQ individuals that are also lacking at the state level.
State laws such as Arkansas’s undermine local control, damage the economy, and create injustices that harm LGBTQ people. I set forth 2 constitutional arguments to challenge such laws, and I provide information to help advocates support evidence-based policy-making and prevent the passage of similar laws in their states.
Law enforcement leaders fight concealed-carry gun bill
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a measure with the strong backing of the National Rifle Association, would require each state to honor a concealed carry permit issued by another state regardless of local permitting restrictions.
This bill would preempt state laws, by allowing concealed carry permit holders from states with weaker laws to carry concealed weapons in states with stronger concealed carry laws.
‘Reciprocity’ is pure gun insanity
New York Daily News, 12/2/2017
Dick Spotswood: Congress aims to undermine local control on guns
Marin Independent Journal, 12/2/2017
Two opinion pieces opposing the preemptive Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would force states with stronger conceal carry (CC) laws to recognize CC permits from states with weaker CC laws.
…the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held a mark-up of H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and favorably reported an amended version of the bill to the full House. Anti-gun Democrats on the Committee offered a lengthy list of amendments to weaken or gut the bill, all of which were defeated.
Gun thefts on the rise, fueling violent crime in ATL and across America
11 Alive (Local NBC Affiliate), 11/20/2017
This piece of investigative journalism describes the links between stolen firearms and violent crimes, and cites state preemption of stronger local gun laws (such as local ordinances that require the reporting of stolen guns among others) which can cause hurdles in combating gun violence.
The deepening divide between the South’s blue cities and red states
Facing South, 11/17/2017
An opinion piece by the Institute for Southern Studies that cites preemption as a political tool to undermine local democracy.
Philadelphia scores legal victory in sanctuary city funding fight
NBC News, 11/15/2017
Philadelphia scored a legal victory in its fight to keep federal funding Wednesday after a judge issued a preliminary injunction barring the Justice Department from withholding more than $1 million in crime-fighting aid over the city’s so-called sanctuary city policies.
New Interactive Map Tracks Labor Law Preemption Nationwide
Common Dreams, 11/14/2017
Rail Blocked Crossing Statute Upheld, Departing From Overwhelming Precedent
Many states and municipalities have (or used to have) laws that limit the amount of time a railroad may block a traffic intersection. Time and again, courts have determined that these laws are preempted by either the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (ICCTA), the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA), or both. Every court considering ICCTA preemption has found the blocked crossing law was preempted, or has been overturned for failing to find ICCTA preemption…
Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS) challenged Indiana’s blocked crossing statute in 2015 on the basis of ICCTA and FRSA preemption, and the state trial court predictably followed the overwhelming precedent and found that statute was preempted. The state nevertheless appealed, but a successful appeal seemed doubtful. The Indiana statute wasn’t novel, and neither were the state’s arguments. NS filed extensive briefing and the Association of American Railroads filed an amicus brief (the briefs and oral argument can be found here). Yet, on October 10, 2017, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and held that Indiana’s blocked-crossing statute was not preempted.
State law meant to block LGBT rights ordinances is unconstitutional, article says
Arkansas Blog, 11/21/2017
A legal analysis by the NYU College of Global Public Health in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health concludes that the Arkansas law that prohibits local LGBT non-discrimination ordinances is unconstitutional.
Precisely that argument is being raised in Washington County Circuit Court, where those who favor legal discrimination against LGBT people are attempting to have a Fayetteville ordinance struck down by the state law. The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the state constitutionality of a local pre-emption law, but hasn’t yet heard arguments that the law is unconstitutional as an equal protection violation…
[Jennifer] Pomeranz argues that the state law is an unconstitutional establishment of religion and a denial of equal protection of law. The state law doesn’t specifically identify LGBTQ people as targets and Pomeranz noted this could make the law hard to challenge. But she hopes the analysis might discourage adoption of similar laws elsewhere.
Florida lawmakers light up the smoking debate after an I-Team investigation
WFTS (Tampa Bay ABC Affiliate), 12/6/2017
Coverage of the renewed conversation over Florida’s state preemption of local smokefree laws.
Opinion: Preemption bills a self-serving war on cities
Tallahassee Democrat, 11/28/2017
Column: Florida’s anti-sanctuary city bill would be bad for Florida
Tampa Bay Times, 11/27/2017
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran…made his case in a recent column in the Tampa Bay Times for a poisonous piece of legislation known as HB 9, which in his words is “a bill that prevents sanctuary cities from ever plaguing our state…State and local governments must comply with and support the enforcement of federal immigration laws.”
Ask the Palm Beach Mayor: Stop chipping away at home rule
Palm Beach Daily News, 11/27/2017
Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio talks about preserving local control in regards to the Florida legislature’s increased use of preemption of local authority.
City of Indianapolis cannot ban guns at Circle of Lights celebration
WTTV (Indianapolis local CBS News Affiliate), 11/19/2017
IMPD and Downtown Indy Inc. have reversed themselves from an earlier announcement last week and now agree that guns cannot be banned from Monument Circle during this coming Friday night’s Circle of Lights celebration…
“The Preemption Statute says that local governments, with certain exceptions, simply cannot regulate firearms, including the carrying of firearms,” said Relford. “The State can tell you where you can and cannot carry a gun, the feds can tell you where you can and can’t but local governments can’t.”
Panel urges tighter control of feedlots in Iowa
The Gazette, 11/20/2017
Iowans concerned with the proliferation of large-scale animal feeding operations are beating the drum for changes that include local control for counties and changes to Iowa’s master matrix, a scoring system for siting the operations.
That drum beat was steady in a nearly two-hour panel discussion Monday night at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. More than 50 people showed up to listen to eight speakers, including current and former state lawmakers, community organizers, farmers and a former Iowa Department of Natural Resources official.
Gov. Larry Hogan to introduce emergency legislation on paid sick leave
WBAL TV 11 (Baltimore NBC Affiliate), 11/28/2017
The Paid Leave Compromise Act of 2018 includes preemption of local laws mandating higher paid leave standards than the state minimum.
Local communities deserve to make their own choices
The Times-Herald, 11/14/2017
Last month, state Rep. Michele Hoitenga filed a bill that would preempt local governments from spending public funds to build community broadband Internet networks…
Despite this instance’s unseemly pay-to-play appearance, the problem goes beyond a single state legislator. This is about a trend sweeping the nation, threatening to erode the power of local governments to enact policies their citizens want. This is about laws being pushed by big-money special interests, turning statehouses into one-stop shops for corporate giveaways.
It’s a tactic called preemption, and it’s destroying the rights of local communities…
Whether on broadband internet, wages, jobs, or the environment, local communities deserve to make their own choices, free from state interference. Ultimately, this is about determining what is more important: the rights of local voters, or the rights of corporate interests.
Judge hears arguments in suit seeking to block Minneapolis’ minimum-wage ordinance
Minnesota Post, 12/1/2017
Hennepin County District Court Judge Susan N. Burke heard more than two hours of arguments from attorneys representing the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the City of Minneapolis. At issue was whether to block that minimum wage ordinance before it starts its six-year phase-in Jan. 1…
Lack of due diligence on labor laws causes angst in Minneapolis
Star Tribune, 11/28/2017
An opinion piece in favor of state preemption of local labor laws, such as mandated paid sick leave and minimum wage, written by the president of TwinWest Chamber of Commerce.
Attorneys defend Mississippi law on denying LGBT services
The Mississippi “religious-objections” law preempts local nondiscrimination ordinances that would protect LGBTQ people and others.
Transportation, local control, rental standards top lobbying agenda
Columbia Tribune, 11/25/2017
Mentioning the uptick in preemption as a concern, this article highlights the lobby-driven agenda in the Missouri legislature.
To the Editor: Recognizing the right of self-determination
Foster’s Daily Democrat (Dover, NH), 12/1/2017
Amendment would recognize right to self-government
Seacoast Online (Portsmouth, NH), 11/15/2017
Two opinion pieces supporting State Constitutional amendment CACR19, which the supporters say will guarantee “local communities the authority to protect the health, safety, and welfare of individuals, communities, and ecosystems,” and specifically mentions preemption as a threat to local democracy.
Pa. Rep Wants To Preempt Philly’s Sweetened Beverage Tax
A Pennsylvania Republican state representative on Wednesday announced plans to introduce legislation that would preempt Philadelphia’s sweetened beverage tax, which went into effect in January and is being challenged in the state’s courts.
Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Allegheny, says his proposed bill would bar any municipality in the state from levying such a tax while also invalidating the current soda tax in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania: Critical Preemption Bills Stalled Out in Both Chambers
The NRA reports that two firearm super-preemption bills have failed to pass the Pennsylvania legislature:
With only a few session days left in 2017, neither Senate Bill 5 nor House Bill 671 have made it to the Governor’s desk.
Showdown in Austin Over Government Mandated Paid Sick Leave
Texas GOP Vote, 11/22/2017
Business groups are raising concerns about a proposal in Austin aimed at requiring employers in the city to provide paid sick leave for workers. It’s a discussion that’s playing out before the Austin City Council…
The city council in September unanimously voted to direct their staff to gather feedback from the community “that might inform a future paid sick days policy for private employers,” per the city’s website.
Among the city council’s reasons for considering a paid sick leave policy for businesses:
- Low-income workers are significantly less likely to have paid sick time than other members of the workforce
- Approximately 37% of workers in the City of Austin lack paid sick time
- Latino and African-American workers are less likely to have paid sick time than workers in any other racial or ethnic group
- Paid sick time can result in reduced worker turnover for employers
- 33 cities and eight states have passed paid sick leave policies
Fracking Disproportionately Affects Communities of Color in Texas, Study Shows
Texas Monthly, 11/17/2017
A new study finds that communities of color in Texas have poorer health outcomes compared to other communities due to the siting of fracking waste disposal wells.
Texas preempts all local authority over oil and gas, which prevents communities from addressing such environmental justice issues!
Texas business group will continue to oppose bathroom bill legislation
Metro Weekly, 11/16/2017
A powerful Texas business lobby has declared that it will fight against any “bathroom bill” introduced in the state.
The Texas Association of Business will increase its lobbying efforts to defeat any proposed legislation that could be deemed as anti-business from being passed by the Republican-dominated legislature in 2019.
Virginia needs to rethink the Dillon rule
The Cavalier Daily, 11/27/2017
Proposed bill looks to fine ‘sanctuary cities’
The Journal Times (Racine), 12/4/2017
According to the proposed legislation, SB 275 and AB 190, would prevent local municipalities from “enacting or enforcing an ordinance, resolution, or policy that prohibits the enforcement of a federal or state law relating to illegal aliens or ascertaining whether an individual has satisfactory immigration status.”
If passed, any municipality that defies this law could face a reduction in state aid ranging from $500 to $5,000, depending on the population size of the municipality, per day the policy is in place until it is removed.
State GOP lawmakers seek to preempt local control on employment matters
Wisconsin State Journal, 12/2/2017
Republican state lawmakers are pushing legislation that would bar Madison, Dane County and other local governments from setting employment rules that differ from state law, including ones that set a higher minimum wage for contracted government workers…
Nick Zavos, government relations officer in Madison Mayor Paul Soglin’s office, said Soglin is “deeply concerned about the direction (the legislation) represents,” specifically as it would pertain to the city’s efforts to curb employment discrimination.
Jeff Pertl, first vice chair of the Dane County Board of Supervisors, characterized it as state infringement on local control. Noting strong population and job growth in Dane County, he said: “Give us a little credit, and a little less ‘help.’ ”
Specifically, the legislation would:
- Create statewide uniform regulations for employment hours and benefits.
- Give employers the right to ask for prospective employees’ salary histories.
- Bar municipalities from setting a higher minimum wage for contracted municipal employees.
- Set a statewide standard and prohibit local ordinances regarding wage claims.
- Create a statewide standard for employment discrimination.