Flagstaff Business News,
May 25, 2018-
As I write this, we’re getting close to the end of the state legislature session. The big story right now is education funding (which I support 100 percent; my mom was a school teacher and I taught GED/ABE/ESOL through the FUSD for five years), but I want to take a moment to talk about something that I think doesn’t get enough attention and has serious repercussions at the local level. The issue is preemption.
In my years of public service, I have noticed a dramatic uptick in laws that tell cities that they cannot do something. For example, due to current law, we cannot legally regulate plastic bags or vacation rentals. The state legislature, with the help of an eager governor, continually imposes restrictions on the solutions communities can develop to solve local problems. I think that’s a problem. Arizona even has what’s called the “mother of all preemption laws,” which allows the state to deprive cities of stated-shared revenue owed to them should we do something audacious, like ban plastic bags anyway.