Tracking State Preemption Just Got Easier
Route 50, 5/9/2018
The Partnership for Working Families launched a map detailing state preemption of localities on nine economic and racial justice issues…
Only states with laws on the books are included, so users can see that 28 now prohibit localities from setting the minimum wage and 27 ban local rent control…
Pay equity and fracking tracking will be offered in the future, and Grassroots Change released a companion Preemption Watch map focused on public health issues like factory farms and soda taxes.
Gun Controls: When State Law Ties Local Officials’ Hands
The Wall Street Journal, 5/9/2018
Pre-emption laws give 43 states power over firearms regulations while some expose local leaders to personal risks.
The more pressing issue for tens of millions of gun owners remains the lack of a broad federal preemption law. Such a law could protect Americans’ constitutional right to carry firearms, to purchase the semi-automatic rifles of their choice (especially ones that may be painted black), and to buy ammunition and standard capacity magazines.
Federal preemption would not create new rights. It would instead recognize and underline Americans’ rights to self-defense that already exist—and properly understood, existed long before the Bill of Rights was drafted.
After Trump’s speech today, Firearms Policy Coalition Chairman Brandon Combs said enacting a strong, constitutionally sound federal preemption law is a top priority.
Study Shows How Recent Preemption Bills Undermine Democracy and Threaten LGBT Equality
The Seattle Lesbian, 5/10/2018
The Power of State Preemption: Preventing Progress and Threatening Equality exposes the coordinated effort to limit municipalities from passing local laws, the special interests motivating these efforts, and the negative impact specifically on LGBT people…
The report shows that local governments have taken steps to pass policies that reflect their communities’ values and to advance LGBT rights. These steps range from raising the minimum wage or guaranteeing workers paid sick days, as well as nondiscrimination ordinances that protect residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, many state governments are attempting to preempt these efforts and limit the progress local governments can achieve, despite the benefit to local residents and economies.
Politicians are using ‘preemption’ laws to fight LGBTQ rights. Here’s what that means.
LGBTQ Nation, 5/8/2018
Boulder city council passes assault weapons ban – but it’s not in effect yet
9News (Local CBS affiliate), 5/1/2018
A Rebellion in Florida: Cities vs. State for Gun Control
The Wall Street Journal, 5/9/2018
More cities are rebelling. In April alone, three sets of plaintiffs filed separate lawsuits in state court against Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials challenging the constitutionality of the 2011 penalties, including a group with Coral Springs and three other Broward County cities.
So-called pre-emption laws—which establish state control of a particular area of regulation and strip authority from local governments—have proliferated in the past few decades, said Lori Riverstone-Newell, a professor at Illinois State University who has studied the issue.
Topeka appeals tobacco ruling, requests Kansas Supreme Court hear case
The Topeka Capital-Journal, 5/2/2018
13 Arrested Protesting Pre-Emption Bill In Rep. Garofalo’s Office
The Uptake, 5/15/2018
Thirteen people protesting a “pre-emption” proposal, which prevents local governments from raising minimum wages, were arrested Monday at the State Office Building near the state capitol, kicking off a nationwide, six-week season of nonviolent direct action by the Poor People’s Campaign.
The arrests were in Rep. Garofalo’s office, an author of HF600, the pre-emption bill. Governor mark Dayton vetoed a version of the bill in 2017.
State Supreme Court reviews anti-sanctuary city initiative
The Seattle Times, 5/8/2018
Civil rights lawyers pleaded with Nevada’s Supreme Court on Tuesday to uphold a state court ruling that would keep off the ballot in November what they describe as an “anti-immigrant” measure crafted by the Republican state Senate leader banning so-called sanctuary cities.
New Jersey Becomes 10th State to Guarantee Paid Sick Leave
Democratic lawmakers originally sought to give workers up to 72 hours of paid sick leave per year, but that was reduced to a cap of 40 hours during negotiations. Other changes to the legislation include preempting the local ordinances of 13 municipalities that already guaranteed paid sick days. [Emphasis added]
Cincinnati City Council votes to ban bump stocks
Council members Amy Murray and Jeff Pastor voted against Sittenfeld’s legislation. Pastor argues that the city’s coming law will violate a 2007 state preemption on municipal ordinances that override state laws on guns. That could expose the city to legal challenges, he said.
The Ohio Supreme Court in 2010 ruled with the state after Cleveland challenged the preemption as it sought to enact stricter gun laws. It isn’t clear, however, if the state restriction applies to firearm components like bump stocks.
Battle of the bags: Clark pushing for local control over plastic bag waste
Norman Transcript, 5/7/2018
Former Mayor and Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center Director Cindy Rosenthal said preemption efforts like the failed SB 1465 underscore a deeper problem in state government: legislative measures drafted from afar by entities like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that actively subvert the will of communities and undermine local control.
She said ALEC was behind Oklahoma’s municipal oil and gas regulation preemption, legislation to stop cities from implementing a higher minimum wage, housing code enforcement, and LGBTQ protections.
Bend City Council commits to discussing guns, school safety
The Bulletin, 5/2/2018
The Bend City Council agreed Wednesday to schedule a meeting with the Bend-La Pine School Board, students, Police Chief Jim Porter and school resource officers, the Bend Police officers assigned to schools. Councilor Barb Campbell, who requested the discussion Wednesday, said Bend’s March for Our Lives highlighted the need for the city to address gun violence…
Oregon law bars cities and counties from regulating guns in any way, but Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told students last month that he’ll push the Oregon Legislature to lift that preemption so the state’s largest city can ban assault weapons, according to media reports. [Emphasis added]
City Of Philadelphia Takes On Trump Administration In Court Over Federal Funds For Sanctuary Cities
Philadelphia CBS Local, 5/10/2018
Bill that would abolish the soda tax advances in Pa. House
The House Commerce Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would kill Philadelphia’s sweetened beverage tax, which was driving customers to buy their soda at stores outside the city. It also would prohibit all municipalities from imposing a local food or beverage tax or food/beverage container tax.
Soda Tax Preemption Bill Clears Pa. House Committee
A Pennsylvania legislative committee signed off on a measure Tuesday that would invalidate the city of Philadelphia’s controversial tax on sweetened beverages and preempt other municipalities in the state from enacting similar measures.
The bill, which the Pennsylvania House Commerce Committee approved on a 17-9 vote, would prevent local governments from placing fees, surcharges or taxes on food, beverages and — in a nod to a levy on plastic bags recently enacted by the city of Chicago — food and beverage containers.
The soda tax preemption bill gives Big Sugar a break at our kids’ expense
State bill would take away local control
There are several bills being proposed that would take away local control. One of them is on the move. House Bill 2241 passed out of the Commerce Committee without a public hearing. The bill’s goal is to prohibit municipalities from trying to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks. We know the impact sugary drinks have on health. Our children are consuming 10 times the recommended amount. No matter where you stand on these health policies, I think Lancastrians would agree that the state taking away local control goes against our core values.
S.C. Statehouse effort to undercut bag bans failed this year. But the fight’s not over.
The Post and Courier, 5/13/2018
Pressure increasing on Gov. Bill Haslam among critics, backers of sanctuary cities bill
Another State Bans Sanctuary Cities
Center for Immigration Studies, 5/1/2018
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam plans to look closely at ‘sanctuary city’ bill
Times Free Press, 5/2/2018
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he’ll take a close look at potential constitutional and other issues before deciding what action to take on a controversial measure requiring law enforcement to comply with federal immigration requests to hold undocumented people without probable cause or warrants.
The “sanctuary city” bill passed the General Assembly last Wednesday in the final hours of lawmakers’ annual session. As of Tuesday afternoon it had yet to be signed by House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, and Senate Speaker Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, according to a legislative website.
Texas’s Sanctuary City Ban Has Trapped Immigrants in Terror
Many local police departments opposed the anti-sanctuary measure pushed by Republican legislators and Governor Greg Abbott because they predicted that the immigrant community would become too fearful to report crimes, but they have had no choice but to follow the letter of the law. Austin, the state capital and a liberal mecca that prides itself on welcoming immigrants, has been the city most clearly caught in the middle. Local officials and organizations are struggling to rebuild ties with the wary immigrant community, but the truth is they can’t shield undocumented people from deportation.
EDITORIAL: Keep Virginia’s ban on uranium mining
The Free Lance-Star, 5/9/2018
THE U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to hear a case challenging Virginia’s 36-year ban on uranium mining. At issue is whether Virginia has the authority to do so, or whether the federal Atomic Energy Act—AEA—of 1954 pre-empts state law.
Initiative would bar governments from enacting soda taxes
Signature gathering began this week for a proposed statewide initiative to bar cities and counties from imposing their own taxes on sweetened beverages as well as other food and drinks typically sold in supermarkets.
Under Initiative 1634, local governments could not enact a soda tax similar to what exists in Seattle but the state is not prohibited from doing so. And while the proposed measure does not undo Seattle’s regulation, it contains a provision to prevent the city from increasing or expanding the tax.
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and marijuana products, which are regulated and taxed by the state, are excluded from the measure.
Just before the hearing, U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. issued a 45-page ruling that threw out Fayette’s waste disposal ban. No hearing was needed to gather facts, the judge said. It was strictly a legal issue, and the law, at least in this case, was clear: Federal and state statutes govern such matters; county officials can’t ban drilling in their own community.
The state of West Virginia “has concluded that oil and natural gas extraction is a highly valuable activity subject to centralized environmental regulation by” the state Department of Environmental Protection, the judge wrote. The County Commission “cannot interfere with, impede, or oppose the state’s goals.”
Wisconsin Law Prohibits Local Regulation of Several Employment Issues, Does Not Preempt Discrimination Ordinances
National Law Review, 5/7/2018
On April 16, 2018, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed an amended version of 2017 Assembly Bill 748, thereby declaring a number of employment issues to be matters of statewide concern and therefore beyond the scope of municipal regulation. Although the bill originally included a provision that would have prohibited local regulation of employment discrimination, that provision was removed by an amendment. As such, municipalities remain free to enact and enforce equal employment opportunity ordinances at the local level like the Madison Equal Opportunities Ordinance and the De Pere Non-Discrimination in Housing, Public Accommodation and Employment Ordinance, both of which remain in effect.