How Red States Stifle Blue Cities
The New Republic, 9/26/2018
Pushing back against preemption is becoming a theme for an emerging slate of local candidates. “There are a lot of young Democrats and progressives coming up and running for state legislatures who can have a big impact here,” says Mark Pertschuk, the director of Grassroots Change, an organization fighting preemption from a public health perspective. Pertschuk says preemption isn’t a cut-and-dry partisan issue. Democratic legislatures have also been guilty of overreach, such as this past summer when California’s overwhelmingly blue statehouse passed a bill preempting soda taxes in an effort to appease the American Beverage Association. The power of up-and-coming candidates to challenge preemption lies not just in their party ticket but in their good-government politics. “These candidates are much less likely to care what multinational corporations or trade associations want them to do than the old time political hacks,” says Pertschuk. “And they’re much less likely to listen to ALEC and others because of a campaign donation.” [Emphasis added]
DOJ’s lawsuit may delay California’s new net neutrality law
WNCT 9 (Local CBS Affiliate), 10/1/2018
A U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit could delay the roll-out of California’s toughest-in-the country net neutrality law, which is set to take effect Jan. 1.
Advocates hope California’s new law to stop internet providers from favoring certain content or websites will push Congress to enact national rules or encourage other states to create their own.
But legal experts say it’s possible a judge will put the law on hold while the litigation plays out. If that happens, the delay could be significant because the issue appears destined for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Calif. enacts net neutrality law—US gov’t immediately sues to block it [Updated]
Ars Technica, 9/30/2018
BIG TECH IS APPEALING TO CONGRESS TO HELP GET AROUND CALIFORNIA’S NEW ONLINE PRIVACY LAW
The Intercept, 9/28/2018
After California passed the most sweeping online privacy law in the nation this summer, big tech went back to the state legislature to weaken it. While that effort fizzled before the end of the state’s legislative session, a more insidious strategy emerged this week: going around California and appealing to Congress.
Alastair Mactaggart, who led the California effort, told The Intercept that a Wednesday hearing in Congress left him concerned that Congress might pre-empt the state legislation at the behest of giant tech firms.
Farm bill hurts ability of communities to protect health, environment of citizens
The Hill, 9/18/2018
As city mayors, we are deeply troubled that Congress is considering taking away our right to home rule. In House and Senate negotiations last week, legislators considered Section 9101 of the federal Farm Bill that would rescind the right of our communities and their elected officials to restrict hazardous pesticides.
During the past two years, our neighboring cities passed landmark legislation to restrict pesticides, require organic land care and protect public health. We believe federal preemption of our authority is undemocratic and contrary to our country’s founding principles. Our legislation was passed after extensive public hearings and in-depth research into the adverse effects of pesticides and the availability of non-toxic alternatives.
Paid Sick Leave
As More Cities Push for Paid Sick Leave, States Push Back
In the last three years, a dozen states have banned localities from passing paid leave requirements, more than doubling to 22 the states that now outlaw such local ordinances. The push for so-called preemption laws is backed by the Koch brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council, a membership organization of state legislators who favor limited government.
The state moves come in response to the increasing number of cities and counties passing paid sick days ordinances. Since 2015, more than 20 cities, as well as eight states, have approved measures mandating that companies provide local workers with paid sick leave. Since San Francisco approved the first paid sick leave ordinance in 2006, paid sick day requirements have been passed in 35 cities or counties and 11 states.
HAZMAT AGENCY SAYS CALIFORNIA MEAL, REST BREAK LAWS PRE-EMPTED BY FEDERAL RULES
The Trucker, 9/21/2018
Resolution for Local Control Over Rodenticide Use Supported by League of California Cities
The Malibu Times, 9/22/2018
The League of California Cities, an organization representing most of California’s 482 cities, recently passed a resolution in support of empowering local governments with the ability to ban the use of pesticides within city limits—power they do not currently wield.
Currently, control over regulating pesticides is under preemption, meaning only the state government can control regulation. During a Malibu City Council meeting in May of this year, city council and City Attorney Christi Hogin discussed the importance of working to reverse preemption, allowing each city to make its own laws regarding herbicides and rodenticides, which include anticoagulant rodenticides. [Emphasis added]
Two years later, Missoula’s gun background check law awaits court decision
Missoula Current, 9/28/2018
On a late September night in 2016, after several hours of public testimony, the Missoula City Council voted 8-4 to adopt an ordinance requiring background checks on most firearm sales and transfers within city limits.
The decision, rendered after nearly a year of debate, prompted the Montana attorney general to deem it illegal under state law, resulting in a lawsuit by the city and a flurry of motions and briefs in District Court.
Local leaders lobby for more control over fracking brine disposal wells
WKBN 27, 9/24/2018
Local leaders are still lobbying the state to have more control over fracking brine disposal wells.
Hubbard township officials are bitterly opposed to a plan to bring a waste brine disposal well to the township…
State law gives the Ohio Department of Natural Resources sole jurisdiction over the wells.
“State law gives ODNR division of oil and gas sole and exclusive authority over all oil and gas operations throughout the state. So whether its an injection well or a producing well that all falls under our purview,” said Steve Irwin of ODNR.
OREGON VOTERS TO CONSIDER GROCERY SALES TAX BAN
The Heartland Institute, 9/24/2018
Measure 103, the Ban Tax on Groceries Initiative, would prohibit the state and its local governments from enacting additional taxes on “raw or processed food or beverages intended for human consumption,” including sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).
Note: Oregon Measure 103 is funded primarily by the soda industry for the purpose of preempting local soda taxes
Measure 103 Will Ban Grocery Taxes. What Else Will it Do?
Willamette Week, 9/19/2018
To tax or not to tax groceries, that is the question
KOIN 6 (Local CBS Affiliate)
Other editors say: A bad idea, badly written
Herald and News, 9/30/2018
Editorial endorsement: Vote ‘no’ on Measure 103’s grocery-tax ban
The Oregonian, 9/30/2018
Measure 103, an initiative by grocers seeking to amend the state Constitution to ban taxes on sales of food, is undeniably appealing. The central idea – that life necessities as food and medicine should remain tax-free – simply makes sense.
This measure, however, does not. The initiative goes far beyond just food purchased at a local grocery store – it bars taxes on the sales, distribution or transfer of raw and processed food at all stages “from farm to fork.” It’s overly vague, leaving open to legal interpretation just how broadly a ban could apply. It would bar local communities from enacting a targeted food or beverage tax of their own, even if their community members enthusiastically support one. And it creates constitutional restrictions on legislators who must be able to explore different taxing structures in their search for a stable and fair revenue system that shifts some of Oregonians’ tax burden onto corporations.
Our Opinion: Don’t use ballot measures to control costs
Portland Tribune, 9/25/2018
Procedural tactics on bill preempting local labor laws lead Democrats to walk out of committee meeting
The Times Herald, 9/25/2018
Bill to roll back local employer mandates advances in Pa. House
KYW Newsradio 1060, 9/24/2018
Philly’s paid sick leave is under new attack in Harrisburg
Billy Penn, 9/20/2018
HB 861 – An Act amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in preemptions, providing for employer mandates by municipalities.
Harrisburg, stay out of Philly’s labor laws
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/1/2018
Only a few months have passed since lawmakers in Harrisburg slipped language into the budget that takes away Philadelphia’s ability to enact new regulations on tobacco sales, and the preemption machine is at it again. The state already preempts municipalities from regulating a variety of issues — minimum wage, firearm sales, massage therapy licensing, dog breeds, just to name a few. Now, Pennsylvania House Republicans are intent on stripping cities from their ability to enact and enforce labor ordinances.
Last Monday, the Pennsylvania House Committee on Labor and Industry voted in favor of a bill, HB861, that would not only prevent municipalities from enacting their own labor regulations but would apply retroactively to any local policy from the past three years, which includes Philadelphia’s paid sick leave and pay equity ordinances. It would also mean that Councilwoman Helen Gym’s work scheduling bill, which would help stabilize the working lives of part-time hourly workers — and we have supported — would be dead before it gets a vote in City Council.
Secure Gun Storage Ordinance Approved by King County Council
Seattle Weekly, 10/1/2018
The King County Council voted 6-3 to approve a secure gun storage ordinance Oct. 1 that would require all gun owners in the county to store their guns in containers such as gun cages or lock boxes.
The new law requires that gun owners comply or, if they continue violating it after an initial warning, face a potential misdemeanor charge and a potential fine of up to $1,000 or a maximum of 90 days in jail.
Boyd Kneeland, a representative of Bellevue-based gun rights group the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), told Seattle Weekly that they will “absolutely” be filing a lawsuit against the county over the legislation’s passage.
“The staff will be pursuing legal action because it is a violation of the state preemption,” he said, referring to a state law that broadly prevents local governments from regulating firearms.
I-1634 would ban new local taxes on all groceries, including soda
The Spokesman-Review, 9/21/2018
Soda Companies Are Spending $13 Million As They Freak Out Over Seattle’s Soda Tax
The Stranger, 9/18/2018
The soda industry is putting a massive amount of money behind an initiative that would stop Seattle’s soda tax from spreading to other cities in the state.
Last week, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission, four soda companies donated a collective $5 million in one day to Initiative 1634, a measure that would make it illegal for local governments across Washington to raise taxes on sodas.
Proposed tax ban undermines local control
Kitsap Sun, 9/28/2018
This confusing measure, written and funded by the soda industry, would take away local choices from voters in our towns and cities. The soda industry is spending millions of dollars to push Initiative 1634 so they can protect their profits while taking choices away from voters. The soda industry’s strategy is to mislead you with television and radio ads. But don’t be fooled – it’s already illegal to tax groceries in Washington state. The entire goal of Initiative 1634 is to undermine local choices and local control of our communities so that the soda industry can protect their profits.