Net neutrality will be enforced in New York under orders from governor
Ars Technica, 1/25/2018
New York has become the second state to enforce net neutrality with an executive order that prevents ISPs from obtaining state contracts unless they follow net neutrality principles.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the executive order yesterday, days after Montana Governor Steve Bullock did the same. The states are challenging the Federal Communications Commission, which repealed its own net neutrality rules and preempted states from imposing similar ones.
The executive orders attempt an end run around the FCC’s preemption of local laws. Instead of directly requiring all ISPs to follow net neutrality principles, the executive orders require state agencies to only do business with ISPs that offer neutral networks. [Emphasis added]
Alaska legislator introduces net neutrality bill
Daily News-Miner, 1/26/2018
Alaska lawmakers are taking the issue of net neutrality into their own hands. Fairbanks Democratic Rep. Scott Kawasaki introduced a bill, House Bill 277, earlier this week that would protect net neutrality rules for Alaskan internet users. Now two senators are planning to introduce a joint resolution intended to send a message to Congress that Alaska does not support the repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rules.
If passed, the bill would allow the state to be able to regulate as if it were the federal government when it comes to broadband internet service providers within the state’s borders. Kawasaki said the resolution introduced Friday is meant to urge Congress to act.
The FCC claims it has the power to preempt State laws…
The FCC claims it has the power to preempt state laws, but that doesn’t mean they actually do. I can claim I have the power to manifest unicorns on the capitol lawn, but if you look out your window in Olympia, there are no unicorns. – Washington state Rep. Drew Hansen
New York and Montana Have a New Trick to Protect Network Neutrality
Some States Want to Save Net Neutrality, But Can They?
Sorry, FCC: Montana is enforcing net neutrality with new executive order
Ars Technica, 1/22/2018
Montana will require Internet service providers to follow net neutrality principles in order to receive state government contracts…
The FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules scrapped the US-wide regulations, and it preempts state and local governments from enacting their own, similar net neutrality rules.
21 states and D.C. sue government over FCC net neutrality rule
Healthcare IT News, 1/17/2018
Crossing the Line – Firearm Preemption Protection Under Attack
Here’s Why Lawmakers Are Backing Off Transgender Bathroom Bills In 2018
The Daily Caller, 1/23/2018
Lawmakers, especially those in the South, are backing away from legislative efforts to impose transgender bathroom bills in schools, businesses and elsewhere in an effort to focus resources and energy on less contentious issues.
Note: State laws directed at undermining civil rights protections for LGBTQ people typically preempt local nondiscrimination polices adopted by schools, municipalities, and other subdivisions of the state.
Chicago’s sanctuary city lawsuit heard in federal court
ABC 7 Chicago, 1/19/2018
The city of Chicago was in court Friday, fighting to keep federal funding and its status as a sanctuary city. The Trump administration threatened to pull funding from cities as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration…
Dem and GOP Mayors Agree: States Must Stop Preempting Local Laws
Next City, 1/24/2018
The topic of state preemption… garnered a unified response from both parties, even though a majority of state governments were red this year according to Gallup. Researchers posed the question: “Compared to an average city nationwide, how much do you expect laws and regulations (existing and new) from each of the following other governments to limit your city’s policy-making autonomy and flexibility?” More than 60 percent responded that they believed their states limited them more than their peers.
State and local policymakers should beware preemption clauses snuck into legislation
Economic Policies Institute, 1/17/2018
There is no federal law that provides workers with the right to earn paid leave for sick days or to take time off to care for an ill family member—the federal Family Medical Leave Act simply allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. In the absence of federal action, with Maryland, nine states have passed paid sick days laws, and five states (and the District of Columbia) have passed paid family leave laws. Local governments, however, have taken up the cause of providing workers with this fundamental need: at least 30 cities and two counties have enacted their own paid leave ordinances in various forms.
But state governments have begun blocking local government efforts to give workers the opportunity to earn paid time off for paid sick days and/or paid family leave through the use of “preemption laws.” “Preemption” in this context refers to a situation in which a state law is enacted to block a local ordinance from taking effect—or dismantle an existing ordinance.
State and Local Officials Clash Over Plastic Bag Bans
St. Petersburg still mulls plastic bag ban. But it’s in no hurry.
Tampa Bay Times, 1/26/2017
The proposed ban on single-use plastic bags is still on the table for City Council. But the city isn’t ready to act just yet. Officials are still surveying the public and businesses to find out what they think and are also waiting to learn the fate of an existing ban in Coral Gables.
In 2008 the Florida Legislature pre-empted local attempts to ban the bags by prohibiting local governments from banning them. In May, the City of Coral Gables tested the waters by approving a ban on plastic bags and fining retailers $50 to $500 who violate the ban.
The measure is being challenged by the Florida Retail Federation and a Coral Gables business in the 3rd District Court of Appeal on the grounds of pre-emption, that the state already banned what the city did in 2008.
Editorial: Kill this proposed amendment that would hamstring local governments in Florida
Tampa Bay Times, 1/24/2018
Proposal 95, offered by state Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, says cities and counties may only regulate “commerce, trade, or labor occurring exclusively within the respective entity’s own boundaries,” and regulations must not “intrude upon or impede commerce, trade, or labor across the respective entity’s boundaries.” The language is vague enough to be utterly confusing and broad enough to be dangerous.
By limiting local governments to regulating only businesses within their boundaries, the proposal undercuts their ability to regulate at all…
In a sense, all regulations have the potential to “impede commerce,” but that doesn’t make them unsound. Rules that prevent factories from dumping pollutants into lakes are costly, but they protect natural resources and residents’ health. Zoning restrictions that say fast food joints can’t open up shop in the middle of neighborhoods could, in theory, impede the commercial interests of restaurant operators. But they also safeguard property values and quality of life. Under this proposal, those considerations have no merit.
Spin Opposes State Preemption
The Spin Blog (Spin is a bikeshare company), 1/19/2018
Legislation being considered in the Florida legislature would preempt cities’ and towns’ ability to have a say in how dockless bikeshare operates in their communities. Unfortunately, this is part of a national campaign that seeks to upend precedence and local authority.
Spin opposes any legislation that preempt towns, cities, and even campuses from having a say in how bikeshare operates in their own communities. We believe communities deserve to have a voice — as well as a seat at the table — when it comes to bikeshare.
Florida lawmakers, stop eroding home rule | Guest editorial
Sun-Sentinel, 1/22/2018 (Originally published in The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Florida)
Continuing a trend that has gained steam in recent years, the Legislature this session is considering several bills that would strip counties and municipalities of their ability to govern themselves. These proposed state laws would preempt what is known as “home rule,” a provision that was enshrined in the 1968 Florida Constitution and was bolstered five years later with the passage the Municipal Home Rule Powers Act (MHRPA), which specifically states that local governments should be able to act unless otherwise provided by law.
Anti-LGBT activists renew fight for ‘religious freedom’ bill in Georgia
Project Q Atlanta, 1/17/2018
Note: State laws directed at undermining civil rights protections for LGBTQ people, including “religious freedom” proposals such as this, typically preempt local nondiscrimination polices adopted by schools, municipalities, and other subdivisions of the state.
Iowa considers expansive immigration enforcement bill
Sioux City Journal, 1/28/2018
Iowa has jumped into the national debate over immigration with an expansive enforcement bill that would require local governments to comply with federal immigration agents or risk losing state funds.
Iowa increasingly usurping local self-governance
The Gazette (Cedar Rapids), 1/27/2018
As Iowa celebrates the half-century milestone of cities being granted the right to self-govern, some local and state officials fear a recent onslaught of legislation chipping away at it threatens local control provisions.
State regulations have superseded city rules for 50 years and county rules for 40, but as a Home Rule state, Iowa’s Constitution provides those local entities a level of authority over matters specific to their own communities.
However, Rep. Dave Jacoby, D-Coralville, a longtime proponent of local control, is among those who say local provisions are being whittled away by the Iowa Capitol as the GOP assumed control of the lawmaking agenda after the 2016 elections.
Those levels of pre-emption show no sign of slowing down, he added.
“Every time you pass a state law, in some way it pre-empts local authority. But recently I think it’s getting more egregious,” Jacoby said. “I think it’s going to be one of the underlying themes of the entire session.”
Bill Would Strip State Funding From ‘Sanctuary’ Cities And Universities
WPFL (Louisville NPR), 1/29/2018
Maryland’s New Sick and Safe Leave Law Scheduled to Take Effect in February
The National Law Review, 1/23/2018
The Act’s preemption provision will impact Beltway employers differently depending upon whether they are located in Montgomery County or Prince George’s County, both of which previously adopted sick and safe leave laws of their own. The Act’s preemption provision preempts local legislation enacted on or after January 1, 2017. The law therefore will preempt the Prince George’s County ordinance, which was enacted on December 12, 2017. By contrast, the Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law was enacted in 2016, so it will not be preempted. Consequently, absent a legislative amendment, employers with employees in Montgomery Country will need to navigate both the county’s sick and safe leave law and the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act.
House Bill 1158 is a tobacco preemption bill which states that, “Boards of Health in cities and towns shall not have the power to ban the community-wide sale of legal tobacco products by authorized stores, establishments and any other entities legally allowed to sell tobacco in the Commonwealth and within the existing by-laws of the community, wholesale or retail, without receiving the approval of town meeting or city council to create such a by-law within the city or town.”
H.1158 is a carryover bill from the 2017 legislative session.
Source: Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights
Zombie Bill Alert: Anti-Trans Bathroom Legislation to be Resurrected
Nashville Scene, 1/18/2018
The Times Free Press reports that McCormick “is dropping his controversial school “bathroom bill” following assurances from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery that he already can and will step in with legal aid to smaller systems facing lawsuits over LGBT access policies”…
Andy Sher at the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that McCormick is simply retooling the legislation and bringing it right back. The legislator, who was formerly the House majority leader, confirmed his intentions and added in a transphobic smear.
McCormick withdraws anti-trans bathroom bill
Out & About Nashville, 1/17/2018
Washington lawmakers consider abolishing rent control law
Lawmakers in Olympia are debating whether or not to strike down existing laws and allow local rent control as the region’s housing crisis continues to grow.
(Representative Nicole) Macri is among a range of Democratic sponsors of House Bill 2583. A House judicial committee heard arguments Tuesday for, and against, the bill which aims to abolish Washington’s law banning cities and counties from imposing rent control.
STATE LAWMAKERS CONSIDER GUN CONTROL BILLS
Columbia Basin Herald, 1/17/2018
Under SB 6146, local jurisdictions would be given the authority to write their own gun control legislation. State preemption currently prevents local jurisdictions from placing more restrictions on gun owners than allowed for under state law.
Sen. Rebecca Saldana, who sponsored SB 6146, said she was inspired to write the legislation after finding five shell casings next to a swingset in a local park.
Opponents of the bill are concerned that it would create patchwork regulations, in which a gun owner could unknowingly bring a firearm from a jurisdiction where it was legal into one where it was not.
Washington: House Judiciary to Hear Gun Control Bills
Senate Bill 80 limits the powers of local health departments to regulate tobacco products. SB 80 was filed, and subsequently sent to the Health and Human Resources Committee on January 10, 2018.
Source: Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights