Snubbing FCC, States Are Writing Their Own Net Neutrality Laws
Fast Company, 1/2/2018
Regardless of their politics, state net neutrality advocates face a tough course through unfamiliar territory. In its lengthy order abolishing net neutrality policy, the FCC asserted the federal government’s right to preempt other laws or policies. “Allowing state and local governments to adopt their own separate requirements, which could impose far greater burdens than the federal regulatory regime, could significantly disrupt the balance we strike here,” reads the FCC’s abolition order.
GOP net neutrality bill would allow paid fast lanes and preempt state laws
Ars Technica, 12/19/2017
A Republican lawmaker is proposing a net neutrality law that would ban blocking and throttling, but the bill would allow ISPs to create paid fast lanes and prohibit state governments from enacting their own net neutrality laws. The bill would also prohibit the FCC from imposing any type of common carrier regulations on broadband providers.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) announced the “Open Internet Preservation Act” in a video posted to Twitter.
Democratic senators call on leadership not to preempt state laws for commercial drivers
Transportation Today, 12/22/2017
A group of Democratic senators voiced opposition on Wednesday to any provisions that could be inserted into year-end legislation that would preempt state laws requiring commercial truck drivers to take additional meal and rest breaks.
Twenty-one states currently have enhanced safety regulations that require companies to provide their drivers a baseline amount of meal and rest breaks to help keep tired drivers off the road.
In a letter to Senate leaders, U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) led a group of Democratic lawmakers in voicing opposition to any provisions that would preempt those regulations in year-end bills like the government funding bill, or the Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization bill.
Anti-Urban States Aren’t Just Hurting Their Cities
To make matters worse, a growing number of cities and metro areas are also located in states which are actively undermining their interests. While most or all state legislatures have long been anti-urban, some states are far more anti-city than others. These states actively undercut their cities ability to attract talent, generate innovation, encourage new investment, and spur economic growth by de-funding universities or cutting funding to transit or affordable housing; by enacting anti-tolerance measures like “bathroom bills”; or by undertaking preemptive policies to limit local control when it comes to things like minimum wage, paid leave, or ride-sharing platforms.
Monterey Co. ruling on Measure Z expected to affect other counties with similar measures
Benito Link, 12/30/2017
A Monterey County Superior Court judge announced his intended decision Thursday in a challenge by several interests to Measure Z, the anti-fracking initiative passed by county voters in 2016…
Judge Wills found that state and federal laws pre-empt county laws regarding the regulation of injecting underground oil wells with water and steam and the prohibition of new oil wells. [Emphasis added]
Can Colorado Lawmakers Create State-Level Net Neutrality? Some May Try
Colorado Public Radio, 12/23/2017
One idea is to require ISPs to follow net neutrality rules if they want to use public rights of way to build out broadband or other internet infrastructure.
Another option is to make net neutrality a condition of contracts between the state and internet providers. [State Representative Chris] Hansen described that option as using the “power of the purse.” Lawmakers could also pass a resolution calling on action in Congress.
Still another idea comes with the greatest legal risks. Colorado could follow the lead of other states, like New York and Massachusetts, and move to require net neutrality rules for all internet providers operating within state boundaries. In essence, net neutrality would be state law.
Hansen says the problem with that last idea is something known as federal preemption. Since internet traffic crosses state boundaries, a single state might not be able to impose its own regulations.
House Speaker vows to pass ‘sanctuary city’ ban bill on week 1 of Session
Florida Politics, 1/2/2018
On week one of Session, House Speaker Richard Corcoran is determined to pass a bill that would penalize local officials who support the passage of so-called “sanctuary city” policies…
HB 9 states that police chiefs, sheriff or mayors in communities that honor these policies — currently there are none in Florida — are to be fined or removed from office.
Court Finds Florida Statute Preempts Miami Beach Minimum Wage Ordinance
JD Supra, 12/22/2017
Preview of the 2018 Legislative Session: Preemption bills and unfunded mandates
Fernandina Observer, 12/22/2017
The Florida Legislature is already hard at work preparing bills for consideration during their 2018 Session. And the Florida League of Cities is also hard at work trying to identify those bills that would be beneficial or detrimental to the state’s municipalities.
City, county officials warn of bill stripping local control of protecting trees
Orlando Sentinel, 12/23/2017
How Iowa Legislature can punish police: Pass ‘sanctuary cities’ bill
Des Moines Register, 12/19/2017
Consider legislators’ push to pass laws against “sanctuary city” policies. Last session, the Senate approved a bill that would, among other things, require law enforcement agencies to comply with federal immigration detainer requests for people in their custody. Senate File 481 would also bar a local government from receiving state funds if the bill’s provisions were violated…
So local officials may be concerned about filling up limited jail space with people who may or may not have violated federal administrative rules. They certainly should be worried about the liability of keeping someone in custody when federal judges have warned them against doing so…
The bill that passed the Senate does not provide such funding to help local law enforcement. In fact, it punishes local officials by denying them state money if found in violation.
As more cities and counties raise tobacco age, state lawmakers may be asked to intervene
Lawrence Journal-World, 12/24/2017
As a group in Lawrence prepares a strong push for local regulations that would raise the minimum age for buying tobacco to 21, efforts may be underway at the state level to push for a law that would pre-empt the ability of local governments to enact such laws.
Kansas Senate Vice President Jeff Longbine, R-Emporia, confirmed Thursday that he has requested an attorney general’s opinion about whether such local ordinances are allowed under current law.
Letter: Local control crucial over wind turbines
Berkshire Eagle, 12/19/2017
Every year, a bill is brought up in the state to take away local control of turbine siting. Thankfully it has not yet passed. That’s a good thing for our region. Because like them or not, towns controlling whether or not wind projects are built in our towns is a cornerstone of democracy. And now Savoy gets to decide its own fate.
Guns in schools fight goes to Michigan Supreme Court
The Detroit News, 12/25/2017
The Michigan Supreme Court next year will hear oral arguments in two cases testing whether public school districts can ban guns — including openly carried ones — despite a state law that generally limits local firearms rules.
Nebraska: Legislative Session Begins
Legislative Bill 68, sponsored by state Senator Mike Hilgers (District 21), is an important bill that will help protect the Second Amendment rights of all Nebraskans by creating a preemption statute to ensure that firearm and ammunition laws are consistent throughout The Cornhusker State. The bill is currently on Select File and awaiting a second vote. LB 68 previously advanced from committee and passed the first round of floor debate during the 2017 legislative session.
LB 68 is a firearms super-preemption bill.
New York tries end-run around FCC preemption with net neutrality bill
Ars Technica, 12/20/2017
New York Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, a Democrat who represents Albany, thinks she has a way to pass a net neutrality law without violating the FCC’s attempt at preemption. Her bill, as reported in Fast Company yesterday, “requires the state government, state agencies, and local governments (including New York City) to do business only with ISPs that adhere to net neutrality principles of no-blocking or slowing down access to any legal content.” The bill (full text here) would treat paid prioritization in the same way.
Stories to Watch in 2018 – Part 2
North Carolina Health News, 1/2/2018
Hog CAFO neighbors may get a day in court
Despite efforts by some legislators and the livestock industry to prevent it, neighbors to industrial-scale hog farms in eastern North Carolina seem poised to pursue monetary damages against hog farms…
U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt in December rejected a plaintiff’s claim that state right-to-farm laws shield the operations from nuisance litigation. He said that trials in the first of 26 lawsuits against densely packed hog farms could start in April.
The First U.S. City Bans Bump Stocks. Will Others Follow?
City Lab, 12/28/2017
Despite a restrictive state preemption law, Columbia, South Carolina, became the first known city to ban the use of the controversial firearm accessory that made the Las Vegas shooter so deadly. The mayor hopes it will ignite local—and national—action.
South Dakota conservatives look to next governor for wins
Since his 2014 re-election, Daugaard has won a pair of tax increases, supported expanding the Medicaid health program and blocked gun-rights and transgender “bathroom” bills, much to the dismay of conservatives in this heavily GOP state. They’re predicting that the top two Republicans vying to succeed Daugaard — Attorney General Marty Jackley and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem — will be more supportive of their ideas.
State senator plans to back cigarette tax legislation
SWVA Today, 12/29/2017
Virginia State Sen. Charles W. “Bill” Carrico plans to introduce legislation in January that will allow counties throughout the commonwealth to host referendums about whether to tax cigarettes.
Carrico is sponsoring the bill at the request of Wythe County supervisors, who have long held that counties should be able to tax cigarette sales, a move that could add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the revenue stream.
Currently, the Code of Virginia gives certain northern Virginia counties (Arlington and Fairfax) and all towns and cities in the commonwealth the powers to tax tobacco products, but denies that power to the other 93 counties in the state.
With more power, Washington Democrats eye gun laws
With that shift in power in Olympia, Democrats are hoping to push through more progressive legislation, including aggressive new gun laws. That includes undoing a decades-old state law that keeps cities and counties from enacting their own gun laws. [Emphasis added]
Washington state’s preemption law puts the authority for all gun regulations squarely in the hands of the Legislature, making it illegal for cities, counties, or other municipalities to enact their own.
But State Representative Nicole Macri (D-Seattle) hopes to change that with a bill she’s sponsoring in the upcoming legislative session.
“It’s the Restoration of Local Authority, and it returns control to our local cities and towns and counties from taking their own action to prevent gun violence by overturning the statewide preemption law that was enacted 30 years ago. It will allow cities and towns to limit firearm access in the ways that they think will best protect their communities in public places like parks and libraries where we know kids play and learn.”