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Editorial: Local control threatened

June 27, 2018

The Daily Nonpareil,

Editorial Board,

June 26, 2018-

As can be seen by those observing what’s going on in Washington and in Des Moines, one-party rule in government seldom represents all of the people. Matching a trend seen in other states with one-party control, Iowa Republicans — already holding the governor’s office — have moved aggressively to block city and county government actions since winning control of both the House and Senate two years ago.

The Associated Press reported that Iowa legislators last year overturned already-enacted minimum wage increases in three counties and this year passed sweeping immigration enforcement laws, turning to the ultimate threat — threatening local governments with the loss of funding if they refuse to comply with the new requirements. Other areas traditionally left to the discretion of locally elected officials — traffic cameras, plastic shopping bags, minimum paid time off regulations and county election maps are among areas targeted by Republicans who now control Iowa’s state government. Iowa is clearly not alone in passing what have been termed pre-emption laws…

Mark Pertschuk, director of the California-based nonprofit Grassroots Change, a group that tracks pre-emption legislation nationally, argues that pre-emption laws hurt local political engagement by fostering disengagement of those who feel they have lost their voice in government.

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