This week, the Partnership for Working Families launched a new interactive map showing where state laws block localities’ ability to raise the minimum wage, provide paid sick days, require local hiring, and other critical policies that can help close the inequality gap and protect workers and families.
FEDERAL BILL ATTEMPTS TO BLOCK STATE, LOCAL REGULATION OF AG
Daily Yonder, 4/4/2018
A bill introduced by an Iowa member of Congress would strip states and local governments of their ability to regulate industrial agriculture in their communities, hurting both residents and small farmers, a national coalition says.
The bill, the Protect Interstate Commerce Act, was introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa 4th). It would prohibit state and local governments from adding any restrictions on agriculture and food production if the product is offered for sale in another state.
Thank you for shooting: Will the NRA go the way of the tobacco lobby?
Yahoo News Service, 4/11/2018
“The tobacco industry is built on profiting from a product that kills… hundreds of thousands of Americans. Unfortunately, the same is true for the gun industry. While there are legitimate uses for firearms — for example in the military — for the most part firearms, particularly assault weapons, are marketed to civilians in a way which increases and continues a legacy of death and injury,” Mark Pertschuk, former president of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights and former legislative director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said to Yahoo News.
America’s Mayors Are Now Taking on the NRA
…the mayors of Pittsburgh, Tallahassee, Florida, and Portland, Oregon, published an op-ed in USA Today explaining that local lawmakers want to pass sensible gun laws, but state legislatures have prevented them from enacting local ordinances to this effect. The op-ed was co-signed by eight other mayors from major American cities.
“Forty-three states have some form of gun preemption, a tactic increasingly used by state legislators to prevent cities and counties from making local laws and decisions,” they wrote. “It’s happening in your state. And it’s happening because lobbyists and special interests know it’s easier to influence a few state lawmakers in 50 state capitols than thousands of local mayors and city councils.”
Poll: Voters Want Local Control, Not State Takeovers
The Progressive, 4/4/2018
A new poll commissioned by Local Solutions Support Center shows that a majority of voters nationally disapprove of state legislatures’ preemption of local laws expanding worker benefits, increasing wage increases, and tightening gun controls.
The poll also found that 70 percent of people think state preemption “happens frequently or sometimes due to corporate special interests and lobbyists convincing state lawmakers to preempt local laws to protect their profits.” And 58 percent believe local governments are more knowledgeable of community needs.
Today the National League of Cities (NLC), in partnership with state municipal leagues, released an update to its report, City Rights in an Era of Preemption, that reveals state preemption of local authority is increasing throughout the country. From minimum wage to municipal broadband, the report illuminates the worsening trend of infringements on local democracy.
THE FIGHT FOR $15 TAKES ON THE ‘JIM CROW ECONOMY’
Action News Now, 4/13/2018
The schoolchildren who faced water hoses and police dogs in Birmingham gave the civil rights movement one of its most iconic victories. But a new generation of activists has arisen in the city with another message:
The “for colored only” signs may be gone, but the “Jim Crow economy” remains.
That is the thrust of a lawsuit linking a three-year battle to raise the city’s minimum wage with Alabama’s ugly racist heritage. Oral arguments are expected be heard in federal court on Friday after a coalition of civil rights groups sued to preserve an attempt by Birmingham’s majority black government to raise the city’s minimum wage…
Legislatures in at least 24 states, including Alabama, have responded by passing “pre-emption bills” that either abolish or roll back those increases. What’s different in Birmingham is the racial dimension of its minimum wage battle — and the massive implications of a workers’ movement gaining a victory in a Southern city.
Letter: Ordinance has authority to stop gun range
The Bulletin (Norwich), 4/8/2018
An opinion piece supporting local control and opposing state preemption of local firearm ordinances.
Florida Cities Sue State Over Gun Preemption
Next City, 4/12/2018
City Throws Its Weight Behind Local Gun Preemption Fight
St. Petersburg, Tallahassee join suit over local gun laws
The Seattle Times, 4/11/2018
Broward and Boca Raton ready to sue state over gun law
Tallahassee City Commission to “Demand” End to Pre-emption
Capitol News Service, 4/11/2018
Florida Cities’ New Tactic in the Fight for Gun Reform
City Lab, 4/5/2018
After the Parkland shooting, cities wanted to control gun use in their communities, only to be stalled by harsh preemption laws. Now, they’re suing the state.
Between Parkland and the Columbine anniversary, Florida’s gun conversation still rages
Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, 4/4/2018
“Florida’s super-preemption penalties that punish local officials for protecting communities from gun violence have existed for long enough. These preemption laws are a violation of the Constitution, they have a chilling effect on local democracy, and they allow special interests to threaten and silence local voices,” said Mike Alfano, head of the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, an anti-preemption group. “We look forward to supporting this case through forthcoming amicus curiae briefs with other state and national partners, and we thank these courageous local officials for standing up to these abuses of power.”
The Journal Gazette, 4/12/2018
Indiana is one of many states to enact right-to-farm legislation, but it is one of just a handful to adopt word for word the aggressively pro-farming language promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council. That legislation protects agricultural or industrial operations from so-called nuisance suits by affected neighbors after one year of operation, even if the farm dramatically changes the type of agriculture it does. In other words, a farmer can convert his soybean farm into a hog or chicken CAFOs, and his neighbors have no legal recourse in the event his operation creates noxious odors, pollutes the drinking water or causes their property value to collapse.
Iowa Bans Sanctuary Cities
Center for Immigration Studies, 4/13/2018
Senate File 481 takes effect July 1.
Senate Bill 185, sponsored by Sen. Wesley Bishop (D-4), would allow local municipalities throughout the state to pass their own gun control laws, creating a patchwork of different laws from parrish to parrish or city to city. It 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.
Louisiana State Senate Votes to Preempt Locals on Inclusionary Zoning
Housing Preemption Is Back on the Table in Louisiana
Letters: One way to help New Orleans gun violence? Let the city regulate its own gun laws
The Advocate, 4/16/2018
At the urging of the local gun lobby, Louisiana has removed authority from local governments to regulate guns and ammunition, thereby creating a dangerous exception to the traditional rule of local authority. This is where we are in New Orleans. This law overrides common-sense by limiting New Orleans, which is wracked with gun violence, to abide by the identical laws that apply in rural Louisiana areas that do not face the same challenges.
Local Democracy Wins Again as Pesticide Preemption Bill is Voted Down in Maine
Beyond Pesticides, 4/5/2018
An industry-backed attempt to enact pesticide preemption in the state of Maine is officially over after bill LD 1853 was voted down by a 9-2 margin earlier this week… With an ever increasing number of communities in Maine stepping up to protect their residents and unique local environment from pesticide contamination, the repeated introduction of preemption legislation means that health advocates and forward-thinking communities must continue to remain vigilant, and ready to fight to maintain their right to home rule.
Michigan Supreme Court hears arguments over banning guns in schools
ClickOn Detroit, 4/10/2018
The sole legal issue the Michigan Supreme Court will look at in both cases is preemption. The plaintiffs argue that the state has preempted the field of firearm regulation and the school districts cannot adopt their own stricter policies.
Ohio: Committee to Hear Self-Defense Bill Again
Substitute House Bill 228, sponsored by state Representatives Terry Johnson (R-90) and Sarah LaTourette (R-76), would expand circumstances under which a person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense. Further, these bills would shift the burden of proof to the state, so the state would have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a person charged with an offense that involved the use of force against another, did not use that force in self-defense.
In addition [it] would… [strengtnen] firearms preemption ensuring that laws regarding firearms and ammunition are uniform across the state to guarantee that gun owners and sportsmen are able to exercise their rights equally across Ohio.
Bill to kill Philly soda tax introduced in Harrisburg
State Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Allegheny, has introduced a bill that would overturn the Philadelphia tax. It would also ban any city, township or borough in the state from imposing a tax on food, beverages (except for beer, wine, and spirits), or on any food or beverage container.
Bill Introduced in State House Would Kill Philly’s Soda Tax
Philadelphia Magazine, 4/10/2018
Bill seeks to kill Pa. communities’ appetite for taxing food or beverages
Rep. Mark Mustio…introduced a bill on Monday to preempt and invalidate any local taxation on beverages, food or containers. The bill has attracted bi-partisan support…
“The beverage industry has spent millions trying to interfere with a positive public health policy, enacted by a wide majority of municipal representatives”, Dr. Kenneth Margulies, immediate past president of the American Heart Association, Southeastern PA Board of Directors, said in a guest editorial for PennLive. “We are deeply disappointed that preemption legislation is being introduced in Harrisburg and worry about the impact this may have on the children and families of Philadelphia.”
Pa. legislators trying to kill soda tax in Philly and elsewhere | Editorial
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/11/2018
Gov. McMaster scores political win as Senate resurrects, passes sanctuary cities ban
The State, 4/12/2018
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster scored a victory Thursday when the state Senate resurrected his proposed ban on sanctuary cities and passed it along with the state budget.
The ban would require S.C. cities and counties to prove to the State Law Enforcement Division each year that they are not sanctuary cities, openly disregarding federal immigration laws.
H. 5202 – Notwithstanding another provision of law, no municipality or county may enact or enforce any ordinance or law that regulates the ownership, use, or possession of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition in a way that restricts access beyond that which is provided by state law… Beginning on the effective date of this act, the State Treasurer is prohibited from disbursing funds appropriated by the General Assembly to the Local Government Fund to a municipality or county that violates the provisions of this act.
Targeting Austin’s sick-leave ordinance is part of a bigger war
Cleburne Times-Review, 4/5/2018
“State legislatures have gotten more aggressive in their use of preemption in recent years,” the National League of Cities reported earlier this year. “Explanations for this increase include lobbying efforts by special interests, spatial sorting of political preferences between urban and rural areas, and single-party dominance in most state governments.”
Virginia Gov. Northam vetoes sanctuary cities bill
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has vetoed a bill aimed at preventing so-called “sanctuary cities” in the state.
Northam, a Democrat, said the legislation is an unneeded burden on local law enforcement officials and “sends a chilling message.”