– Philip Levine, former mayor of Miami Beach (quoted in FloridaPolitics.com)
Food & Nutrition
BILLS TO BAN LOCAL SODA TAXES ARE MOVING IN THE STATES, COKE AND PEPSI BORROW FROM THE TOBACCO PLAYBOOK
Center for Media and Democracy, 3/28/2018
Watch out public health advocates – as soda tax campaigns are bubbling up in cities across the nation to combat obesity, diabetes and other serious health conditions – the beverage industry is working to choke off this expression of local democracy…
“In 1988, it was Phillip Morris’ Smokers’ Alliance. In 2018, it’s Big Soda’s YES! TO AFFORDABLE GROCERIES. Both are front groups, then the tobacco industry’s and today the American Beverage Association’s,” said Mark Pertschuk. Pertschuk is the Director of a small advocacy organization called Grassroots Change. He is the former President of American for Nonsmokers’ Rights, which battled the tobacco industry for smoke-free workplaces.
Today, Pertschuk’s “Preemption Watch” project tracks efforts that step on local democracy. There has already been preemption of local ordinances related to nutrition in 11 states, this applies not just to a soda tax, but to menu labeling and other policies. More preemption bills (or statewide referendums) are likely to be introduced in 2018.
SODA MONEY FLOWS INTO COOK COUNTY RACES, BUT COMES UP FLAT
Center for Media and Democracy, 3/29/2018
In 2017, following implementation of the soda tax in Cook County, a bill to stamp out local soda taxes (a state level preemption bill) was introduced in the Illinois General Assembly, but it has not advanced. Similar bills were pushed by the soda industry and passed into law in Michigan and Arizona very recently. This tactic of blocking local democracy initiatives with state-house preemption was pursued and perfected by the National Rifle Association and the tobacco industry, as the public interest group Grassroots Change has documented.
Don’t weaken consumer safety laws
Cadillac News, 3/29/2018
US Congressmen Steve King and James Sensenbrenner are trying to weaken animal protection and consumer safety laws in the United States. The Protect Interstate Commerce Act (H.R. 3599/H.R. 4879) and the No Regulation Without Representation Act (H.R. 2887), dubbed as the “States’ Rights Elimination Act,‘ would take power away from state and local governments on agricultural issues, a dangerous overreach of the federal government.
H.R. 3599/H.R. 4879 would render a broad range of state and local agriculture laws including animal welfare, environmental, workers’ rights, and food safety laws null and void. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) says, “[H.R. 3599] would preempt vital state agricultural policies designed to protect the safety and well-being of our farmland, waterways, forests, and most importantly, our constituents.
The N.R.A. Lobbyist Behind Florida’s Pro-Gun Policies
The New Yorker, 3/5/2018
On the other side of the tape, public officials congregated. Normally, Moskowitz moves with the jumpy energy of a Hollywood agent, but now he was subdued… He had come from the funeral of Meadow Pollack, a senior at Douglas.
Moskowitz shook hands with Dan Daley, a young city commissioner in Coral Springs. “I was talking to one of the Douglas students,” Daley said. “His only words to me were ‘Do something.’ I had to tell him that I legally can’t do anything, because the governor could take away my job if I tried.”
Moskowitz turned to me. “That’s the legacy of Marion Hammer,” he said.
Mayors call for local action on guns: ‘We owe it to those who have lost their lives’
Smart Cities DIVE, 3/26/2018
In an opinion post published in USA Today on Friday, Mayors Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee, FL; Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh and Ted Wheeler of Portland, OR called for an end to local gun preemption influenced by lobbyists and “special interests” on the state level. The letter cites 43 states which have a form of maximum preemption to prevent cities from passing local gun regulations on top of state law.
US mayors call for end to laws preventing them from creating local gun control
The Hill, 3/24/2018
How to Join the Movement to End Gun Violence This Weekend and Beyond
The Nation, 3/23/2018
Fight preemption laws. After decades of lobbying by the NRA, more than 40 states now have preemption laws regarding firearms that strip the authority of municipalities to regulate the sale and use of guns… Urge your city council members and mayors to vocally oppose state preemption laws and to join coalitions such as the nonpartisan Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, which seeks to protect the rights of local authorities to create their own gun laws free from state interference.
There’s no doubt about the need for thoughtful new gun ordinances. Mayors across the country are ready to pass them, enhancing public safety in our cities.
But we can’t — because our states have banned us from enacting local gun laws…
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.
A basic goal of regulation is to maximize public safety while minimizing costs to individual liberty, and one way to do that is by tailoring rules to places or situations where they’re likely to do the most good. When it comes to guns, that often means drawing distinctions between urban and rural areas…
That leaves the most serious legal obstacle to firearm localism: the widespread, and relatively recent, adoption by state legislatures of “preemption” laws that limit or outright forbid municipal gun control. Thanks in part to an NRA-supported push beginning in the 1980’s, more than 42 states have enacted broad firearm preemption laws. These laws are a far more significant impediment to local regulation, and to gun regulation more generally, than the Second Amendment. Their effect has been to force cities to have the same generally permissive rules as rural areas do.
State Firearm Preemption Laws
Everytown for Gun Safety, 2/20/2018
Cities announce funding to study impact of state preemption
RCR Wireless News, 3/28/2018
“We posit that preemption is negatively affecting the entrepreneurial ecosystems of cities and thereby impeding growth and innovation in city economies,” NLC research director Christiana K. McFarland wrote in a blog post. “This grant will allow us the opportunity to test this hypothesis through rigorous analysis and quantitative research to provide data on the ultimate impact of these misguided policy dichotomies between state and city.”
VA GOP Senate candidates split on feds strong-arming states over sanctuary cities
Conservative Review, 3/21/2018
Preemption Threatens Economic Development and Innovation
Arizona bans extra taxes on soda, sugary drinks
AZ Central, 3/19/2018
Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2484 to prohibit cities, towns and counties from imposing extra taxes on soda or sugary drinks, as some liberal-leaning cities in other states have done.
Specifically, HB 2484 requires local governments in Arizona to tax all food items equally.
California city votes to sue state over ‘sanctuary city’ law
The Mercury News, 4/3/2018
In a late-night vote Monday, April 2, the Huntington Beach City Council decided 6-1 to file a lawsuit against California challenging the legality of the state’s so-called sanctuary law.
SB-54 limits cooperation between local agencies and federal immigration authorities.
While Los Alamitos voted in March to exempt itself from the law, Huntington Beach could become the first city in California to sue the state over the issue, Mayor Mike Posey said.
Local Legislators Sing Familiar Small-Government Tune – Guest Opinion
The Bay City Beacon, 4/1/2018
Most California governor candidates oppose bill that would override zoning to build housing near transit
The Mercury News, 3/26/2018
The measure, Senate Bill 827, would override some local zoning restrictions to allow four- to eight-story housing developments to be built within a walking distance of subway stations, rail stations and high-frequency bus stops. It’s sparked vigorous debate, with supporters saying it would help alleviate the Golden State’s housing crunch and opponents insisting it would drastically reshape vast neighborhoods of single-family homes.
Proponents appeal Measure Z ruling
Monterey Herald, 3/28/2018
Monterey County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wills issued a final ruling earlier this month following an intended decision in late December. Wills upheld the ban on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in the ordinance but struck down Measure Z’s bans on drilling new wells and wastewater injection, deciding they were invalid by existing state and federal regulations. Protect Monterey County filed its appeal Monday challenging the judge’s ruling overturning parts of the measure with the Sixth District Court of Appeal…
Senate OKs three measures that House already has killed
The Daily Sentinel, 3/30/2018
“I see this bill further defending an industry that’s allowed to go in and put dangerous operations near people where no other industry is, and flaunts local control that way,” said Sen. Matt Jones, D-Louisville. “I just think all of us should be saying to ourselves, what’s more important, private companies making corporate profit or people’s safety, especially since people are being killed by this industry.”
South Florida cities challenge gun preemption
News 4 JAX, 4/2/2018
In Florida, only the state is allowed to regulate firearms…
That’s effectively stopped local governments from taking any action on guns, until Parkland. Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, like the students, local government officials are speaking up…
Philip Levine: Minimum wage, vacation rentals should be local decisions
Florida Politics, 3/27/2018
Philip Levine, former mayor of Miami Beach, holds the ideology that local governments should be in charge.
And if he’s elected to the statewide office of Governor, he said those beliefs won’t change…
Speaking to reporters… Levine gave a glimpse of what his administration would look like if he were elected. Specifically, he said he’d fight for maintaining power in or returning it to local governments.
“Government works best when it’s closest to the people,” Levine said, referencing an ideology of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson. “I believe that’s what we need to get back to.”
Among issues he’d attempt to prevent the state from preempting: Minimum wage, vacation rentals and gun restrictions.
Florida Cities Fight State Control Over Gun Laws
Next City, 3/26/2018
In Florida, the preemption came first. The original law to limit local gun control ordinances passed in 1987; lawmakers (backed by the NRA) gave it sharper teeth in 2011. As it stands now, the state forbids cities and counties from enacting their own gun laws, and officials who craft or enforce local gun legislation face a $5,000 fine and removal from office.
But cities are stepping up to challenge that law. Officials in Coral Springs, Weston, Miami, Coral Gables and, most recently, Tallahassee, have begun crafting ordinances and, in some cases, threatening to sue the state.
Tallahassee aims to challenge state preemption on gun control
Tallahassee Democrat, 3/25/2018
With No Power to Pass Gun Laws, Florida Cities Prepare Plan B (and C)
Florida’s failure to ban assault weapons has angered some local officials, but they have few options for recourse. Some are taking the issue to voters, while others are challenging a state law that bans cities from passing gun laws.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Broadband bill takes away local control
Northside Neighbor (Atlanta), 3/21/2018
Controversial law passed forcing US retailers to sell battery eggs
Farming UK, 4/3/2018
The new law has been passed by both legislative chambers in Iowa. It applies to retailers who are involved in a food assistance program run by the federal government for low income mothers and children…
She explained: “This bizarre legislation would actually force many grocery stores to sell a product that businesses and consumers are increasingly rejecting; eggs from caged hens.”
Which Iowa leader has courage to take on Big Pork?
Des Moines Register, 3/22/2018
Signs of a boom are everywhere. Two new pork-processing plants in Iowa will be able to process up to 30,000 hogs a day. Producers are snapping up land to put up new barns. A Department of Natural Resources study says, based on the state’s fertilizer needs, that Iowa could support 45,700 concentrated animal feeding operations — four times as many as exist now.
Iowa is totally unprepared for the influx. State leaders refuse to address the current problems with CAFOs, let alone the expected growth…
NOTE: Iowa counties cannot regulate conditions or activities on land used for the “production, care, feeding, or housing of animals.” Cities are prohibited from utilizing local zoning mechanisms to regulate industrial farming (also known as factory farming and concentrated animal feeding operations [CAFOs]). Source: Preemption Map; Grassroots Change
Iowa House approves ‘sanctuary city’ punishment
Des Moines Register, 4/3/2018
A measure that would punish so-called sanctuary communities in Iowa took a major step forward Tuesday as lawmakers approved a bill that would cut off state funding to cities and counties that circumvent federal immigration laws.
The Iowa House of Representatives approved Senate File 481 on a 55-45 vote as Latino activists watched from the upstairs visitor galleries, waving miniature U.S. and Iowa flags.
The bill now faces a final vote in the Iowa Senate, where it’s expected to be approved.
Johnson County Raises Local Minimum Wage Despite State Preemption
Iowa Public Radio, 3/29/2018
Rally at Iowa Capitol against sanctuary cities bill draws hundreds
Des Moines Register, 3/21/2018
Maria Alcivar stood on a chair in the Iowa Capitol rotunda Wednesday, holding a sign above her head for most of a two-hour rally against a bill prohibiting so-called “sanctuary cities.”
“Formerly undocumented, current voter, future legislator,” read the 29-year-old Iowa State University Ph.D student’s sign. Alcivar said she emigrated from Ecuador and lived undocumented for 14 years before gaining U.S. citizenship and voting in the 2016 election…
The bill directs local governments to comply with federal immigration authorities or risk losing state funding. It has passed the Iowa Senate and awaits debate and a vote in the Iowa House.
Gun safety advocates show up in large numbers at state capitol
WBRZ 2 (Baton Rouge ABC Affiliate), 3/28/2018
Other legislation they’re advocating includes removing New Orleans from preemption, giving the city the freedom to write their own firearm ordinances and possibly causing other cities to follow suit.
LePage’s bill to limit local control of pesticide use appears headed for defeat
3/21/2018, Press Herald
A bill proposed by Gov. Paul LePage that would prevent Maine municipalities from limiting or banning pesticide use appears headed for defeat after a legislative committee voted 9-2 against it Wednesday.
Michigan Expands its Preemption Law to Cover Interview Limitations
JS Supra, 3/30/2018
On March 26, 2018, Governor Rick Snyder signed an amendment to Michigan’s Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act into law. Public Act 84 (2018) prohibits local government bodies from adopting or enforcing any local policy, resolution, or ordinance that regulates what a prospective employer must request, require, or exclude during the interview process or on an application for employment.
Local View: Legislators looking to pre-empt locals on packaging, health, environment
Duluth News Tribune, 4/1/2018
Several bills — HF3814, SF3253, SF3135 and HF3606 — pending in our Legislature, if enacted, would wrest waste-management authority away from Minnesota cities. Together they would retroactively preempt decision-making on issues that impact the health and welfare of all Minnesotans at the local level, including municipal-compost quality, climate-change mitigation, litter, landfill space, and water quality…
Pre-emption not only undermines our healthy democratic process but harms economic, social, and environmental health. In Minnesota, the harm extends to communities and future generations…
Rather than providing a solution, pre-emption illuminates the hidden patterns of influence and control responsible for our dire straits. Pre-emption is illogical and only benefits those businesses with products that are harmful and unsustainable or which lack the necessary creativity and innovation to succeed in a new livable economy that works for all Minnesotans.
NOTE: HF 3814 would preempt local governments from taxing “the manufacture, distribution, wholesale, or retail sale of food, based on volume of product sold, product sales value, or the type of product manufactured, distributed, or sold; or any container used for transporting, protecting, or consuming food.” The target and primary impact of the proposal would be to prohibit local soda taxes (and fees for single-use plastic bags and takeout containers.
HF3606 preempts local authority to “regulate auxiliary containers,” meaning any single use or re-usable container “designed for consuming, transporting, or protecting merchandise, food, or beverages from or at a food service or retail facility.”
Local control v. statewide standard — battle over preemption continues
MPR News, 3/29/2018
Ranked-choice voting: Why would Minnesota Legislature pre-empt local control?
Star Tribune, 3/26/2018
We’re deeply concerned by the pre-emption bills circulating in the Minnesota House and Senate right now, targeting our communities’ right to employ ranked-choice voting in our local elections… We also are deeply concerned that these bills, if passed, could set a dangerous new precedent in eroding local control.
Joining the ranks of cities around the nation, Minneapolis and St. Paul have demonstrated why RCV is a better way of running our nonpartisan local elections. While local electoral control hardly needs a rationalization, we believe that RCV elections are in the public’s best interest…
Analysis: Mississippi protects plastic bags, keeps symbols
The Daily Astorian, 4/1/2018
Yet, some of the same Mississippi officials who say they favor local control are enacting a new state law that specifically tells city and county governments what they cannot do about plastic grocery bags.
Columbus’ plan to curb gun violence fits with state law, officials say
The Columbus Dispatch, 3/21/2018
Columbus officials say their legislative proposal to curb gun violence fits into exceptions provided by a state law designed to keep them from regulating guns…
Columbus tried to ban assault weapons several times, but courts struck down those bans and the state legislature passed a pre-emption law that prevents local governments from regulating guns in almost every way.
Klein said the state law doesn’t apply to the city’s latest proposal, though, and his office is prepared to defend the plan.
Ted Wheeler: Mayors should have power to pass gun control
The Oregonian, 3/23/2018
In an op-ed published Friday, Mayor Ted Wheeler said American cities ought to be able to enact their own gun control laws but can’t because state legislatures don’t allow it.
Wheeler wrote in USA Today that mayors are supposed to tackle big challenges and atop the list should be “common-sense local firearms laws that keep guns out of the wrong hands.” Wheeler co-wrote the op-ed with the mayors of Tallahassee and Pittsburgh.
Seattle’s proposed gun law faces huge hurdle
Seattle leaders say they can’t wait for Congress or state lawmakers to take action to fight gun violence. That’s why they have a plan of their own to require gun owners to safely store their weapons.
But the city will have to get over a pretty big hurdle to enact its own gun law — the state preemption law.
Impacts of Wisconsin’s local employment law preemption bill
InBusiness Madison, 3/28/2018
On March 22, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed a bill to preempt local governments from enacting and enforcing ordinances related to a multitude of employment matters. Since the bill has now passed both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature, it is expected that Governor Walker will sign it into law. The bill, AB 748, would standardize employment law across the state by prohibiting local governmental units from enacting their own employment law regulations…