Webinar: Partnership for Working Families & Grassroots Change Introduce New Preemption Map, New Issues
Please join us for a webinar introducing a new interactive map showing where corporate-driven state laws block localities’ ability to raise the minimum wage, provide paid sick days, require local hiring, ban the box, provide affordable housing, and adopt other critical policies to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities.
The Partnership for Working Families and Grassroots Change will introduce two interactive tools to track state interference on issues affecting public health and low income communities of color. Speakers will also explore broader themes and troubling trends that the map confirms regarding corporate capture of state legislatures, race and gender disparities, and deregulation of entire industries.
Webinar: Mapping State Interference
When: May 9, 2018 at 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET
Please register here
Pro/Con: Should Congress pass laws preempting state authority?
CQ Researcher, 4/27/2018
Con: Mark Pertschuk, Grassroots Change; Jennifer Pomeranz, NYU
On March 25, hundreds of thousands of mostly young people gathered in Washington to protest the abject failure of our elected officials to adopt meaningful gun violence protection laws. Yet, while the United States has shamefully weak gun laws, the way forward leads through Tallahassee, Omaha and thousands of other American cities and counties, not through Washington…
For most of our history, from child labor laws to the tobacco control movement, legislative progress began and thrived at the local level. That is why the strategic use of preemption to stop state and local progress has been the top priority for industry actors since the tobacco industry preempted local smoking ordinances in Florida in 1986. Minimum wages, paid leave and nutrition policies are just some of the most recent examples of this strategy.
And so it is with gun control. The seven states that still allow cities and counties to pass stricter firearms laws have far stronger gun laws, with lower firearm death rates on average, than the 43 states where local governments are preempted. That’s why defeating federal preemption (and repealing state preemption) is the single most important thing advocates can do to support the grassroots movement against the gun lobby. But the National Rifle Association has a different vision: to preempt stronger state and local gun laws. The gun lobby’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, adopted by the House in December 2017, would preempt stronger state gun laws by allowing concealed handgun permit holders from states with weaker laws to carry firearms in states with stronger gun laws.
Food & Nutrition
Soda industry cash may fuel 2018’s most expensive race
The Hill, 4/26/2018
A new campaign committee organized by the California Business Round-table — and initially funded by the American Beverage Association — is collecting signatures for a constitutional amendment aimed at November’s ballot that would require any new tax or fee levied by the state to win two-thirds super majorities in the legislature, a difficult hurdle to clear.
The measure would also require local governments to put any tax or fee increase on the ballot, subject to the same two-thirds vote.
Sneak Attack on Local Pesticide Laws by Chemical and Pest Management Industry in Farm Bill Passed by House Agriculture Committee
Beyond Pesticides, 4/20/2018
The language inserted in the Farm Bill amends the federal pesticide law with a provision that prohibits local governments from restricting pesticide use on private property within their jurisdictions. Local laws in two states, Maine and Maryland, will be overturned with final passage of this law in the U.S. House and Senate… Local laws protecting the environment and public health have historically emerged out of local governments, with laws related to recycling, smoking, pet waste, building codes, and zoning.
Disaster in Farm Bill
Tulsa World, 4/30/2018
All states now face a much greater threat from an amendment contained in the 2018 Farm Bill, which will be voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives as early as May 14. The amendment in the Farm Bill is based on House Resolution 4879, which was introduced by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. King’s amendment could undo state and local laws dealing with animal protection, food safety, labor and the environment. Basically, it takes away the right for state legislatures to pass laws for the protection of their own citizens in broad matters of agriculture.
Map: As Net Neutrality Officially Ends, States Rush to Pass Workarounds
Government Technology, 4/25/2018
Under the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order, the FCC removed itself from overseeing the way Internet service providers manage their networks and placed that responsibility upon the Federal Trade Commission. Additionally the FCC’s order pre-empts states from requiring ISPs to adhere to net neutrality principles… [Emphasis added]
LGBT Rights May Be a Factor in Amazon’s HQ2 Pick. Here’s how
Amazon representatives questioned officials in North Carolina about its controversial bathroom bill, which mandated that transgender citizens use the restroom of the gender on their birth certificate, as apposed to how they identify. The law was partially repealed in 2017, but still prohibits local lawmakers from enacting anti-LGBT discrimination laws. [Emphasis added]
Sanctuary Cities Are Fighting the Trump Administration—and Winning
The Nation, 4/30/2018
U.S. Chamber backs Congressional language ending state rules on driver rest, meal pay
DC Velocity, 4/26/2018
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today threw the weight of the nation’s largest business trade group behind language in a House bill to re-authorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill that would federally pre-empt state laws that require commercial truck drivers operating in interstate commerce to be paid for meal and rest times.
Local tax limit is a soda industry play that goes too far
The Sacramento Bee, 4/24/2018
This radical measure would require a two-thirds super-majority for any new tax, tax increase or tax extension, making it much more difficult for cities and counties to control their own financial destinies…
As The Sacramento Bee’s Alexei Koseff reports, beverage companies and other business groups are prepared to spend tens of millions to get this initiative on the ballot and get it passed.
Soda-tax initiative would tie our hands in helping state, cities, counties
Merced Sun-Star, 4/26/2018
Democrats again push for local control over the minimum wage
Colorado Independent, 4/18/2018
The proposed law would repeal a 1999 provision in state law that bars local governments from setting their own minimum wage.
Across the country, over two dozen states have similar preemption laws on the books, according to National Conference of State Legislatures. But this year, state legislatures in Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York and Ohio have introduced legislation to overturn these minimum wage preemption laws.
Fla. officials who try to strengthen gun laws can be personally fined, kicked out of office
The Washington Post, 4/26/2018
Gainesville wants to regulate local gun laws. So it’s suing Gov. Rick Scott.
The Independent Florida Alligator, 4/23/2018
The City of Gainesville joined 10 other Florida cities in a lawsuit challenging portions of the state statute restricting local regulation of guns.
Editorial: Every city should join fight against harmful state gun law
Palm Beach Post, 4/22/2018
Gun bills have seen mixed success in General Assembly
Journal Star, 4/28/2018
Over in the Senate, a bill that would give municipalities exclusive authority to regulate the possession of assault-style weapons awaits a vote after clearing committee last month.
Senate Bill 2314, sponsored by state Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield, would eliminate the pre-emption put in place following the passage of the state’s concealed carry law in 2013.
Measure to block take-out container laws advances but is unlikely to become law
MPR News, 4/21/2018
A state Senate committee approved a measure Tuesday that would block local government bans on foam food containers and cups and other non-recyclable containers that restaurants and retailers provide.
Lawmaker wants aid penalty for sanctuary cities
Capitol View, 4/18/2018
Legislation under consideration at the Minnesota Capitol would penalize cities and counties that protect unauthorized immigrants.
The bill requires a reduction in state aid to cities and counties equal to the amount spent for legal services to help unauthorized immigrants fight deportations.
Residents ask Eden Prairie City Council to ban assault-style weapons
Eden Prairie News, 4/18/2018
Eden Prairie resident Ronald Whitman, a veteran of the St. Paul Police Department, addressed the council at the open podium time. He said state law preempts the city from regulating firearms and ammunition or their components with some exceptions.
Farm group opposes CAFOs, foreign-owned farmland
Farmland Grab, 4/18/2018
HB 1614 would prohibit political subdivisions from adopting or enforcing ordinances or regulations, such as county health ordinances, relating to seeds or fertilizers. It has passed the House into the Senate. Gibbons said the bill would radically damage the ability of locally elected representatives to protect the health and welfare of constituents from large-scale corporate livestock operations.
MO Residents Fight for Local Control in Regulating CAFOs
Public News Service, 4/18/2018
Missouri has seen a rise in concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs, whether they produce cows, hogs or chickens. Now, residents and environmental groups are concerned about a bill they say will take away local governments’ ability to put public-health protections in place…
House Bill 1614, sponsored by state Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, would prevent cities and counties from creating or enforcing ordinances regarding “seeds, fertilizers or soil conditioners.” Reiboldt has said he wants those rules to come only from the Missouri Department of Agriculture or the federal government.
NRA’s Nevada questionnaire asks candidates position on background checks, assault weapons ban and pre-emption laws
The Nevada Independent, 4/24/2018
New Jersey Legislature Passes Paid Sick Time Law
JD Supra, 4/18/2018
The New Jersey Legislature passed a bill requiring employers in the state to provide paid sick time at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year… The proposed law would also preempt all municipal paid sick time ordinances in the state. [Emphasis added]
Rep. Donovan to introduce bill punishing ‘sanctuary cities’
Staten Island Live, 2/24/2018
Rep. Daniel Donovan will introduce a bill that would withhold federal funds from “sanctuary cities,” including New York City.
Governor’s proposed statewide plastic carryout bag ban could torpedo Suffolk’s 5-cent bag fee
Riverhead Local, 4/25/2018
Single-use plastic carryout bags would be banned statewide under a bill introduced Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo’s bill would not impose any fees on the distribution of single-use plastic carryout bags and also appears to pre-empt any local law — like Suffolk County’s — that imposes such fees.
Portland mayor tells student rally he’ll seek city-wide ‘assault weapon’ ban
Though Wheeler may want city leaders to act tough on guns, state firearm preemption laws forbid local governments from regulating the “sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use” of guns in any way. But the former Oregon State Treasurer and political ally of Gov. Kate Brown said he is going to work on that as well.
TRAMPLING LOCAL DEMOCRACY: BEVERAGE INDUSTRY PUSHES SODA TAX BAN IN HARRISBURG
Center for Media and Democracy, 4/20/2018
Every argument put up by industry is getting knocked down by the facts. Industry says they are losing jobs, but unemployment is down in sectors related to the tax and wage tax revenue is up. Industry complains that people are leaving the state to shop, but the Drexel study indicates that consumers may just be drinking more water. Coke, with its Dasani branded water, and Pepsi, with the Aquafina brand, should be pleased as punch.
But on April 9th, a bill was introduced in Harrisburg that would retroactively roll back Philly’s tax and ban other localities in Pennsylvania from pursuing the same course. The bill, HB 2241, was introduced by Rep. Mark Mustio, the Allegheny County Republican leading House Republican campaign fundraising efforts. As CMD has reported, the beverage industry is not shy about bankrolling its friends come election time.
Rhode Island: 19 Gun Bills to be Heard in House Judiciary Committee Tuesday
H.7762 by Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell repeals preemption. This dangerous bill would allow local jurisdictions to pass their own gun control laws despite state law. Forty-nine states have some form of pre-emption, and this is just a backdoor attempt to create a confusing patchwork of gun control laws from town to town.
Bill prohibiting sanctuary cities divides officials
WMC Action News 5 (Local CBS affiliate), 4/30/2018
Bill banning sanctuary Tennessee cities, mandating cooperation with ICE detainers heads to governor
The Tennessean, 4/25/2018
Texas Attorney General Joins Legal Fight Against Paid Sick Days
Texas Observer, 4/30/2018
On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a coalition of business lobbyists and temp agencies in the legal battle to rip guaranteed paid sick days away from workers in the state’s capital. In Monday’s court filing, Paxton seeks to join an existing lawsuit against Austin’s paid sick policy, which passed in February and is set to provide paid leave to around 87,000 Austin workers who currently lack it on October 1.
“The Austin City Council’s disdain and blatant disregard for the rule of law is an attempt to unlawfully and inappropriately usurp the authority of the state lawmakers chosen by Texas voters,” Paxton proclaimed in a press release announcing his office’s motion to intervene.
Business Groups Sue To Block City Of Austin’s Paid Sick Leave Law
KUT 90.5 (Austin’s NPR Station), 4/24/2018
An Austin-based conservative think tank has sued the city over its paid sick leave ordinance. The ordinance, which goes into effect Oct. 1, requires all private businesses to provide anywhere from six to eight paid sick days for employees…
In its lawsuit, TPPF argues the paid sick leave ordinance violates the Texas Constitution and is preempted by state minimum wage law. The foundation asked the court to block the ordinance from going into effect while the case is being heard.