Nutrition and Food Policy
Menu Labeling Finally Set to Go Live on May 7, But Congress Might Have Different Plans
Food Safety Magazine, 3/20/2018
Per the nutrition labeling preemption language in the ACA, it seems clear that if a state or city tried to adopt menu labeling requirements that differ from FDA’s, such requirements would be preempted. In order for a federal rule to preempt a state or local one, one would assume that the federal rule has to be in effect, or at least is scheduled to go into effect. But what about a federal rule that is in effect but whose compliance date has been delayed multiple times and whose future is not entirely clear?
Senate Committee to Consider Bill Exempting Factory Farms From Hazardous Waste Reporting
The Center for Biology Diversity, 3/7/2018
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on a bill introduced by Sen. Debbie Fischer (R-Neb.) that would exempt “concentrated animal-feeding operations,” often called factory farms, from hazardous-waste reporting requirements.
Communities lament ‘rising tide’ of broadband preemption
State Scoop, 3/15/2018
Municipal officials attending a National League of Cities conference pushed back against state laws preempting local authority on broadband.
…The new federal rules also pre-empt state laws that circumvent the FCC’s rules or attempt to reinstate any of the regulations the FCC repealed, which means any state action, like Washington’s or the California proposal, may be challenged in court.
GOP Senator Introduces a Bill That Would Ban U.S. States from Making Net Neutrality Laws
Digital Music News, 3/9/2018
GOP tries to block state net neutrality laws and allow paid prioritization
Ars Technica, 3/7/2018
Republicans in Congress are continuing to push a net neutrality law that would preempt state net neutrality rules and let Internet service providers charge online services for prioritized access to Internet users.
The Open Internet Preservation Act would prohibit ISP’s from blocking or throttling lawful Internet content but clear the way for paid prioritization or “fast lanes.”
Blog: The NRA, Gun Violence, and Ceiling Preemption
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, 3/14/2018
The Latest Weapon Against Local Democracy? “Super Preemption”
The Progressive, 3/8/2018
Laws similar to SB4, which strip local officials of their legal immunity or economically sanction local governments or officials who defend municipal powers, have passed in at least ten states in recent years…
“Super-preemption is a draconian practice where a state isn’t satisfied with eroding democracy at the local level,” says Mike Alfano, campaign manager of the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, a leading critic of “super preemption.” “So they take it one step further, allowing special interest groups like the National Rifle Association to threaten local officials with fines, removal from office, or even jail time if they try to pass any law that might be preempted.”
State Lawmakers, White House Talk Action on Sanctuary Cities
U.S. News & World Report, 3/8/2018
Four Colorado Republican lawmakers on Thursday brought their ideas to the White House on punishing so-called sanctuary cities, hoping to build on the Trump administration’s lawsuit challenging California laws it says protect immigrants in the country illegally.
State Rep. Dave Williams said he advocated for holding individual cities and their policymakers personally liable during a meeting with the White House Domestic Policy Council.
Justice Department Files Preemption Lawsuit Against the State of California to Stop Interference with Federal Immigration Authorities
The U.S. Department of Justice, 3/7/2018
Two Major Climate Change Lawsuits Move Forward
Citing the precedent of these earlier rulings, the defendant oil companies transferred the cities’ cases to federal court, and argued that the cities’ claims were preempted by federal law. In response, the cities claimed that they had a right to file in state court and that their claims under state law were not preempted by federal law, and they asked the judge to send the cases back to state court…
This part of the ruling was a major win for the plaintiffs, as it seems to take away the key defense of preemption that the oil companies seemed to be counting on. [Emphasis added]
Preemption laws prevent cities from acting on everything from labor and employment to gun safety
Economic Policies Institute, 3/13/2018
Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that prevents Arizona cities and counties from taxing sugary drinks…
There was no sign of any city in Arizona considering adding sugar taxes to soda or other products.
Senate Committee Votes to Block Local Soda Taxes
Arizona Public Media, 3/7/2018
The Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed House Bill 2484 prohibiting local government from taxing specific foods.
In practical terms, the bill is designed to keep local governments from passing soda taxes.
Gwen Graham says she’d support local governments defying 2011 gun laws preemption
Florida Politics, 3/20/2018
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham announced Tuesday that if she’s elected governor she would support local governments such as Weston and Coral Gables that seek to defy the state’s 2011 law forbidding local gun ordinances.
Andrew Gillum in St. Petersburg: Localities should consider passing illegal gun ordinances
Tampa Bay Times, 3/14/2018
The Democratic candidate for governor argued that local laws banning high capacity magazines or assault weapons could prove key to legal challenges against Florida’s local pre-emption laws.
Commissioners oppose state building code bill
Idaho Mountain Express, 3/9/2018
A bill moving through the Legislature that would ban cities and counties from crafting their own building codes has local Democrats in a somewhat unusual position: Pushing for more local control.
Each of the Blaine County commissioners has sounded off against H547, which flew through the House last Friday on the back of a 52-16 vote. As written, the bill would prevent jurisdictions from adopting rules for residential construction beyond those set by the Idaho Building Code Board.
NOTE: This bill would preempt local authority to update building codes to address a range of safety threats. Idaho already prohibits “local (and statewide) adoption of any requirement for the installation of fire sprinkler systems in single family homes or multiple family dwellings up to two (2) units.” – Source: Preemption Map, Grassroots Change
Illinois: Senate Attempts to Repeal Preemption Law
How an Iowa Law Requiring Grocers to Sell Conventional Eggs is Stirring Controversy
Civil Eats, 3/9/2018
Despite igniting a national controversy, Iowa lawmakers are quickly moving forward with a law that would require grocery stores to sell conventional eggs from hens raised in battery cages if they also sell “specialty” eggs with labels like cage-free and free-range. The House passed House File 2408 at the end of February, and it then passed the Senate earlier this week. The bill has now been sent to Governor Kim Reynolds to be signed into law…
“As a proud Iowa egg producer and small sustainable and traditional family farmer, I know firsthand just how harmful industrial animal agriculture has been to the Iowa way of life,” farmer Becky Higgins wrote in recent an op-ed in the Des Moines Register. “The government has no place mandating that grocers must sell a product that family farmers, businesses, and consumers reject.”
Kansas National Farmers Organization opposes poultry bill
High Plains Journal, 3/9/2018
The Kansas NFO board recently adopted a resolution opposing the poultry bill, SB 405, during their state board meeting in Salina.
The resolution supports more local control and zoning, rather than giving this to the state level which SB 405 does. Kansas NFO is also concerned about hidden unfair contracts that will hurt poultry farmers if this bill passes.
Gun-reciprocity agreement bad for Kansas: Support Red Flag instead
The Mercury (Manhattan, Kansas), 3/12/2018
But here in Kansas, the Senate is debating whether to bring the HB-2042 reciprocity bill to the floor for further discussion. This pending bill is backed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the NRA.
It would allow Kansas to honor any other state’s gun-carrying laws. Anyone with a valid concealed–carry gun permit in one state may travel to any other state with the permitted weapon and not worry about being arrested or fined for carrying that concealed weapon.
It means each state must reciprocate the approval of a permit that any other state has issued.
Here’s why passage of HB-2042 in Kansas is a bad idea. Reciprocity agreements between states undercut the ability of individual states to manage the flow of firearms into their borders. [Emphasis added]
Gun rights group sues Richmond over pawn shop ordinance
The Richmond Register, 3/15/2018
Louisiana: Egregious Anti-Gun Bills Brewing in 2018 Session
Senate Bill 185, sponsored by Sen. Wesley Bishop (D-4), eliminates the authority of state laws over local ordinances and regulations. Firearm preemption laws ensure that fundamental rights are not diluted or distorted through local ordinances and prevents a confusing patchwork of regulations which make it difficult for otherwise law-abiding citizens to follow the law. Further, citizens in one city deserve the same rights and powers as citizens in the neighboring town.
Legislature: No local rules on job interview questions
The Detroit News, 3/7/2018
A proposal to prohibit local governments from regulating job interview questions is heading toward Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk after the Republican-led state House approved it on Wednesday.
The legislation is a pre-emptive strike against the kind of local rules implemented or considered in San Francisco, Philadelphia and other out-of-state cities that ban employers from asking a prospective hire about how much he or she earned in prior jobs.
The state’s control over local control
The Alpena News, 3/12/2018
And let’s face it. Business loves it when it can persuade lawmakers in the capitol to do its bidding vs. having to lobby every little city council and township board between Monroe and Marquette to get what it wants.
Business also argues that if you allow one city to do this and another that, the so-called “patchwork” of regulations is a burden on business. But others would say that’s the price you pay for having local control.
Three bills that would preempt local paid sick leave requirements, two of which include minimum wage preemption, have been filed in the New Jersey legislature:
A739 – Prohibits local governments from requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave
A740 – Prohibits local units of government from adopting increased minimum wage and mandatory paid sick leave for private employers
S535 – Prohibits local units of government from adopting increased minimum wage and mandatory paid sick leave for private employers
What Happens After the Progressive Revolution Comes to a City Like Durham?
The Nation, 3/12/2018
For all their desire to rectify the inequities, however, council members have limited tools, thanks to a state legislature that uses its preemption powers freely. The council cannot compel developers to provide affordable housing. It cannot offer inexpensive community broadband. It cannot remove Confederate monuments without permission. It cannot pass broad anti-discrimination protections. It cannot release police body-camera videos. It cannot regulate firearms…
The problem, of course, is retaliation. Not only can state lawmakers pass preemption laws, but they can also withhold funding for needs like light rail. “What we have to be constantly measuring is, to what will extent the legislature come in and punish us?” Schewel says. “They’re not above that. They’re happy to do that.”
Mount Pleasant gives first approval to plastic bag and foam container ban
The Post and Courier, 3/13/2018
South Carolina’s fourth-largest city gave initial approval Tuesday to a sweeping ban on single-use plastic bags and foam food containers…
In February, the S.C. House passed a bill to pre-empt local governments from banning plastic bags and foam containers. A Senate subcommittee is scheduled to consider the bill Wednesday.
Transgender Bathroom Bill Is Back
Memphis Flyer, 3/18/2018
Anti-trans bathroom bill to face House subcommittee
Out & About Nashville, 3/8/2018
NOTE: State laws directed at undermining civil rights protections for LGBTQ people typically preempt local nondiscrimination policies adopted by schools, municipalities, and other “subdivisions” of the state.
Texas House report condemns ‘bathroom bill’ as threat to state’s future
Austin American-Statesman, 3/13/2018
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus’ hand-picked committee released its delayed report on the future of the state’s economy Tuesday, and it’s a ringing condemnation of last session’s transgender bathroom bills as unneeded and dangerous to the state’s economy as well as Austin’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.
Note: State laws directed at undermining civil rights protections for LGBTQ people typically preempt local nondiscrimination policies.
Commentary: Utah Republicans pre-empt local control for business control
The Salt Lake Tribune, 3/18/2018
Utah’s Republican rulers have made it clear: Where local democracy conflicts with business interests, local democracy must go.
Beverage industry wants to block Seattle soda tax elsewhere
Seattle PI, 3/15/2018
A group sponsored by the American Beverage Association on Thursday submitted language for a statewide initiative on the November ballot that would block local taxes on beverages and other “everyday grocery products.”
Although sponsored by opponents of Seattle’s tax on sugary beverages, the proposed initiative would not repeal or roll back the city’s tax. It would, however, cap existing taxes and block other local jurisdictions from following Seattle’s example.
King County Council Votes to Support Student Gun Reform March
The Stranger, 3/19/2018
Similar to a Seattle City Council resolution passed in support of student gun reform activist walkouts, the King County Council voted this afternoon to support students’ March for Our Lives rally this coming Saturday. The council additionally urged Congress to “ban assault-style weapons” and the Washington State Legislature to repeal the state’s law preempting local governments from passing their own firearm rules. [Emphasis added]
Wednesday’s passage comes from the Legislature as a result of a concurrence conference following much internal debate. Early in the session, legislators began to be pressured by employers and business lobbyists to add language to the bill that would have prevented local jurisdictions from creating stronger laws in the future. Economic justice advocates-including Economic Opportunity Institute, Legal Voice, and MomsRising-strongly urged legislators to move forward without this preemption.