Broadband & Wireless
Local governments push back on FCC for 5G towers
Municipal and county governments, and now Congresswomen Anna Eshoo, are fighting back against the telecom industry’s interest in limiting local government’s permitting authority for additional cell towers and installation of 5G cell equipment.
Last week the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution of support for House Resolution 530, introduced by Eshoo, D-Atherton, aimed at overturning Federal Communications Commission regulations that curtail the local control of permitting new cell towers and wireless transmitters.
Stop FCC Preemption of Local Control
National League of Cities
Tell your Members of Congress to stop the FCC’s one-size-fits-all 5G preemption in its tracks. Write a letter asking your federal elected officials to support H.R. 530, the Accelerating Wireless Broadband Development by Empowering Local Communities Act of 2019.
Building control ban opposed at Fayetteville forum
Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 2/9/2019
FAYETTEVILLE — None of the three state House members at a forum Friday supported a bill to stop cities and towns from regulating building design. None of the more than 50 audience members spoke up for the bill either.
“Local control means local authorities need to set the standards,” said Rep. Megan Godfrey, D-Springdale, at the forum hosted by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. She was one of three House members from Washington County attending the 4 p.m. forum at the Fayetteville Public Library: Reps. Nicole Clowney and Denise Garner, both D-Fayetteville, and Godfrey.
[State Sen. Scott Wiener’s] proposal, SB 281, also aims to strip control of the 68-acre site from the Cow Palace Board of Directors and transfer ownership to a local Joint Powers Authority comprised of Daly City, San Francisco and San Mateo County.
This would remove the site from state jurisdiction, which has stymied previous attempts to ban gun and ammunition shows. Wiener says its past time that control of the site is taken away from the Cow Palace Board of Directors, which he says is not listening to residents.
“The Cow Palace is not living in the modern era,” Wiener said. “It’s ignoring the pleas by the local community to end the gun shows.”
Proposed Bill Would Give Local Control Over Cow Palace, End Gun Sales
Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Assembly-member Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, have again introduced legislation to ban the sale of guns and ammunition at the Cow Palace in Daly City.
In addition to banning gun and ammunition sales, Senate Bill 281 introduced Wednesday would also transfer the state-owned venue’s entire 68-acre property from the hands of the California Department of Food and Agriculture to a locally controlled joint powers authority, Wiener’s office said.
The proposed Cow Palace Joint Powers Authority would then have full control over the site and would be responsible for designing a new strategy, including the construction of housing and mixed-use development. [Emphasis added]
Mountain View’s strategy proves local control over housing is best approach
SF Chronicle, 2/8/2019
Everyone seems to agree that the Bay Area is suffering through a protracted housing emergency, and many housing advocates suggest that taking away local control is the way to get housing built. Yet Mountain View is able to build lots of housing, with community support, because the city itself decides how and where to build new housing.
Colorado legislative leaders aim to redefine COGCC mission, add local control
Denver Business Journal, 2/8/2019
Topic: Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Local governments have very little ability to implement regulation regarding gun laws. In fact, the county’s gun show loophole is basically the only ordinance it can enforce because of state preemption. Only the state can make laws regarding firearms…
“This is an unprecedented thing,” said attorney Jamie Cole.
Cole is representing more than two dozen local governments and dozens of individual elected officials in a lawsuit against the state. The governments contend that the state’s preemption on gun laws, as well as the stiff penalties enforced if the preemption is broken, is unconstitutional. Under current state law, if a local lawmaker signs an ordinance that deals with firearms, the elected official can be personally sued and removed from office.
Gun control activists in Broward County seek to get assault weapon ban on 2020 ballot
Local control in arms’ reach for Skidaway Island residents
In a resolution, The Landings Association board says incorporation would give them local control, more benefits from taxes, and improved service.
“We have a number of concerns that are unique to us, and we would have an ability as an incorporated area to take actions that would be best for us in the future,” said resident Rick Cunningham…
“It’s terrific that we’re finally going to be able to vote on it, but I urge everyone to figure it out for yourself. Get all the information you can, and then vote,” said Cunningham.
LIQUOR LICENSE REFORM BILL DRAWS LOCAL OPPOSITION
Coeur d’Alene Press, 2/11/2019
Some liquor license-holders in Kootenai County and throughout the state are lining up, along with Sheriff Ben Wolfinger, to oppose a comprehensive liquor license reform bill proposed by Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell.
Scheduled for a hearing today by the State Senate Affairs Committee in Boise, Rice’s proposal would, among other things, end the state’s 70-year-old quota system of issuing liquor licenses and allow cities and counties to issue liquor licenses, if they choose to.
Single-use plastic bag ban will not help, environmental risk specialist says
Prairie State Wire, 2/18/2019
While no bag ban appears to be pending in the Illinois legislature, taxes on the bags are in place and moves have been made to levy more taxes on them. Last fall, Illinois 30th District Sen. Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) filed an amendment to Senate Bill 1597 that would levy a minimum tax of 5 cents for single-use carryout bags at all retail establishments in the state. The amendment would cover paper and plastic bags and would preempt home rule county regulation of carryout bags.
Letter to the Editor: Lighting the fuse on local control
The Gazette, 2/11/2019
Here we go again. And I thought this legislative session was going to be productive. There is an adage of the Republican Party to be free from government regulations. Now with Senate Bill 1035, sponsored by Sen. Jake Chapman, R-Adel, it will take away from cities and counties the authority to regulate fireworks issues.
There appears to be overwhelming support from the locals to leave this well enough alone, and for good reason. The idea of local control is to insure the validity of what is needed in their government realm. What happens in Des Moines does not translate well elsewhere for this concern. Leave it alone.
In Howard County, delegate’s bill mirrors Senate effort to give local school boards control over school calendar
Howard County Times, 2/8/2019
As Gov. Larry Hogan is defending his stance last week to keep Maryland schools closed before Labor Day, a Howard County delegate is proposing a bill to allow local school boards to have local control over school system calendars.
Feedlot dilemma: Local entities consider whether to set caps on size
The value of local control
Twenty years ago, members of the Minnesota House of Representatives attempted to enact a moratorium on any feedlot over 750 animal units. Neither the Senate nor the governor were on board at the time, but a final bill included a provision that gave counties the power to pass their own laws that would limit feedlots more than the state does. At the same time, Minnesota townships enjoy local zoning control that can be more restrictive than any county-level rules in place.
That is a factor that sets Minnesota apart from neighboring states. David Hann, a former Republican leader in the Minnesota Senate who now heads the Minnesota Association of Townships, said local control is a tradition in Minnesota. “People should have the ability to regulate the conditions of their lives,” he said. “Minnesota has a history of recognizing that local government is a positive thing.” [Emphasis added]
State Rep pushes legislation for local control in the City-County merger
State Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, D-St. Louis has filed a proposed constitutional amendment limiting votes on proposed city-county consolidation to voters in those two jurisdictions. She says big decisions like this should not be determined by state approval but rather by local residents…
To protect other areas of the state in the future, Bosley is teaming up with Rep. Bill Falkner – a Republican on a bi-partisan house bill effort to ensure that only area residents of proposed mergers will decide if the coalition will be done.
Farmers, neighbors and Gov. Ricketts zone in on latest chicken farm proposal in Dodge County
Omaha World-Herald, 2/17/2019
Gov. Pete Ricketts took the side of agriculture during a visit to Fremont after the mid-January vote, telling a crowd that included the Camenzinds that he hopes that Dodge County works with the family to grant the permits…
Ricketts also mentioned his previous support for right-to-farm legislation like Iowa’s, which reduced local control of the approval process and created state guidelines that, once met, essentially approve similar projects….
“Pete Ricketts coming to Fremont and telling the Dodge County Board of Supervisors that they need to pay attention to ‘livestock-friendly’ is not what’s best for the locals of this area,” Ruppert said. “We need to keep local control.”
LB736 – Provide restrictions on occupation taxes, license fees, and regulation by counties and municipalities
(2) Beginning January 1, 2020:
(a) No occupation tax or license fee imposed under this section shall be greater than twenty-five dollars annually;
(b) No occupation tax or license fee shall be imposed by a city of the primary class on a profession or business that provides goods or services unless the profession or business was subject to an occupation tax or license fee under this section on January 1, 2020; and
(c) No licensing requirements shall be imposed by a city of the primary class on any profession or business which is subject to state licensing requirements.
ABC system is the right path forward for marijuana legalization in NC | OPINION
Robin Cape, GUEST COLUMNIST, Citizen-Times, 2/11/2019
On Wed. Jan 16th, Rep. McGrady stated his goal to privatize the ABC system just like he wanted to privatize Asheville’s water. Alcohol, and eventually cannabis, need to be controlled with the interest of our state and our local community as the priority, not the profits of a few national corporations. Let’s keep it local.
COURT SHOOTS DOWN CITY BUMP STOCK BAN
It is not the first time that Ohio courts have thrown out a municipal bump stock prohibition. Judge David Cain, writing for the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, last year found that the city’s ban did not square against state preemption law which prevents local governments from regulating firearms.
Here’s how Pittsburgh is amending its controversial gun control push
The Incline, 2/8/2019
Amendments are in the works that would clarify contentious gun control legislation before Pittsburgh City Council, addressing concerns from mental health professionals and gun owners and better guarding the bills against a legal challenge that’s all but certain to come if and when they’re passed, council members said.
The legislation proposed weeks after October’s mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue would ban certain semi-automatic firearms or “assault weapons,” prohibit bump stocks and large capacity magazines, and allow the courts to temporarily confiscate firearms from a person deemed an “extreme risk.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto prepared to take city gun bills to Supreme Court
[Allegany] Triblive.com, 2/14/2019
“The ability to preempt cities from being able to protect their people, I think, would end up in the state Supreme Court,” Peduto said. “The ability for us to put reasonable restrictions, well regulated restrictions, on guns, I think we could possibly end up in federal Supreme Court.”
By preemption, he was referring to a Pennsylvania law that prohibits municipalities from regulating firearms. Activists have argued that the gun ban would violate the preemption statute and subject city officials to criminal prosecution.
Experts, activists address city council on proposed gun laws in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2/12/2019
All six of the speakers, who were chosen by Ms. Harris, opposed local gun regulations. The two-hour-plus meeting did not seem to sway attending council members, most of whom have signed on as supporters of proposed firearms regulations.
Chief concerns among the panel included state preemption of local gun laws and the contention expressed by some that local lawful gun owners are being held “responsible” for the Oct. 27 mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill, in which 11 Jewish worshipers were killed.
Plastics Task Force and Gov. Endorse Statewide Bag Ban
Some task force members, such as Save The Bay, wanted a broader plan that included addressing storm-water runoff. The Conservation Law Foundation advocated for a bottle deposit law and regulations on product packaging.
Others on the committee wanted assurance that a statewide ban doesn’t weaken or preempt existing municipal bag bans or prevent cities and towns from enacting restrictions on other plastics such as straws and foam containers. [Emphasis added]
Why you could see fewer plastic bags and straws in North Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach Online, 2/5/2019
The council hopes to launch a multi-pronged approach to reducing plastic. Plans include providing a more focused effort on litter control and cleanup, and proper disposal of the plastics through a campaign of education and community cleanup drives; aggressive lobbying for local control of this and similar issues, and aggressive opposition of any state legislative initiatives that would hinder local control; expanding community education initiatives highlighting the threat plastic poses to the environment; and working with the local business community to help phase out the use of plastics in their packaging and processing activities.
A ban on bans: Are SC legislators killing local control as favor for Big Business?
The State, 2/18/2019
COLUMBIA, S.C. For nearly an hour Wednesday, S.C. House members debated a bill to ban local governments from passing more regulations on cigarettes and vaping products.
In the end, the ban on more local regulations passed, 69-37.
It is not the only debate likely this legislative session about limiting the control that local governments — cities and counties — have over local issues.
Jenkins: Plastic bag bill hinders local control…
S.C. lawmakers have been “unusually active the last three years” stepping on the toes of cities and counties, said Lynn Teague of the League of Women Voters, trying to limit how cities and counties regulate a variety of activities — from cigarettes and vaping to plastic bags to billboards to poultry farms.
Jenkins: Plastic bag bill hinders local control
City Council member Alan Jenkins, GoUpstate.com, 2/17/2019
Should Spartanburg ban plastic bags? Would eliminating them from the city limits help us fight litter and become more environmentally friendly?
Or, instead, should we protect businesses that rely on the bags and let the consumer market do the work of shifting trends?
Those are equally valid questions that I would like to ask my east-side constituents. Then I’d like to take their feedback and hash it out with my fellow Spartanburg City Council members.
In an effort that reeks of big government overreach, Columbia lawmakers would like to remove this discussion from our hands completely. One of those state-level lawmakers is part of the Spartanburg delegation.
State Senate Bill 394, if passed, would prohibit anyone except the S.C. Legislature from banning plastic bags. It is sponsored by senators Wes Climer of Rock Hill and Scott Talley of Spartanburg. [Emphasis added]
Sioux Falls business owner says city rule violates South Dakota’s authority on gun laws
Argus Leader, 2/6/2019
A Sioux Falls business owner who sells silencers for firearms says gun dealers are apprehensive about doing business at gun shows here because of what they see as illegal city firearms regulations.
Since 2011, the city of Sioux Falls has required pawn brokers and gun dealers doing business in the city to report the serial numbers of firearms they’re considering purchasing so they can be cross-referenced through an online database of stolen firearms.
But Brandon Maddox, owner of Dakota Silencer and former president of the Dakota Territory Gun Collectors Association, says that rule requires anyone who comes to Sioux Falls to sell guns to pay a $25 license fee with the city and adhere to the reporting ordinance, which he says violates a long-standing state law that gives the South Dakota Legislature sole discretion over firearms regulations and prohibits municipalities and local governments from regulating the sale, purchase or license of firearms. [Emphasis added]
LIVE: Back to the basics for Gov. Abbott’s State of the State Address
Bigcountryhomepage.com (Abilene, TX), 2/5/2019
The most fought over issue will likely be the ask to reform property taxes. Abbott’s proposal has been matched by identical bills in the House and the Senate that would cause an automatic rollback election if property taxes increase 2.5 percent in a jurisdiction. Right now, after an 8 percent increase, voters can petition for a rollback election — a rare move…
Officials from cities and counties in Texas want the state government to get off their back and scrap their plans of a property tax cap.
According to a county spokesperson, if this property tax cap was in effect last year in Travis County, homeowners would have saved $33 but the government would have lost $19 million…
His office is the law enforcement arm of the court: serving court orders, child support summons, domestic violence protective orders, and evictions.
Local school leaders say effects of state tax reform proposal unclear
Waco Tribune-Herald, 2/5/2019
While Gov. Greg Abbott declared school finance reform a top priority in his State of the State address Tuesday, local school leaders speculated on how a pair of bills intended to limit an essential source of school funding would affect their districts.
Lawmakers in both chambers of the Texas Legislature announced identical bills last week intended to curb property tax growth by restricting the amount of revenue local governments can collect without voter approval. The governor went a step further Tuesday by declaring school finance reform and teacher pay raises emergency items, the Texas Tribune reported.
Legislators file bills to stop cities’ actions on paid sick leave
The Texas Monitor, 2/14/2019
All of the bills include language directed at paid sick leave ordinances passed in Austin and San Antonio but are also broad enough to block local governments from restricting how businesses negotiate with their employees over salary and compensation in other ways.
Governor gives lawmakers list of emergency items to tackle
Glen Rose Reporter, 2/11/2019
The Senate Property Tax Committee on Feb. 6 held its first public hearing of the 86th session of the Texas Legislature to consider SB 2, a proposal to cap local property tax growth at 2.5 percent for most taxing entities and automatic ratification elections if an entity wishes to exceed the cap.There is an exemption in the bill for entities that take in less than $15 million in revenue per annum.,,
Much of the testimony given by panel after panel of witnesses in the three-hour hearing was in favor of the cap. Testimony given in opposition to setting the cap at 2.5 percent mostly focused on the potential of negative outcomes the low cap might cause, such as cutbacks in needed services and a reduction in local control. [Emphasis added]
Park City’s plastic bag ban again threatened by Utah lawmakers
A Utah legislator wants the state to block municipal governments from prohibiting plastic bags, something that could eventually overturn Park City’s rule against the bags in what is the second consecutive Statehouse challenge to the City Hall ban.
Battle over public land designations divides Utah lawmakers, too, as state bill seeks to usurp local control
The Salt Lake Tribune
“The state of Utah is the sovereign, and cities and counties are political subdivisions of the state,” the Richfield Republican told the committee. “If it’s a good proposal and we make suggestions, that’s the right process and we will support them going forward to make a federal designation.”
But critics see the bill as a way for conservative lawmakers to sabotage or dilute locally driven conservation proposals, such as those currently underway for the Central Wasatch, Emery County and San Juan County, whose new Navajo-majority County Commission is expected to vote soon on a resolution calling for the full restoration of Bears Ears National Monument.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a city, town, county, or municipal corporation may not implement a local carryout bag ordinance. Any carryout bag ordinance that is in effect as of the effective date of this section is preempted by this chapter, as of the effective date of this section.
(2)(a) A city, town, county, or municipal corporation may, by ordinance, increase the amount of the minimum pass-through charge established in section 3(2)(b) of this act.
(b) A city, town, county, or municipal corporation ordinance in effect as of January 1, 2019, is not preempted until January 1, 2020.
Wyoming lawmakers say local control is best. But this year, that’s not always how they vote.
Casper Star-Tribune, 2/4/2019
CHEYENNE – There’s a cliché espoused by government leaders across the country – and Wyoming in particular — that the government most responsive to the people is the one closest to the people.
That line, it seems, has been under barrage this year in the Wyoming Legislature.
In the 2019 general session, lawmakers have found themselves contemplating a number of bills that appear to be inspired by issues or grievances in a single county. The measures, if passed, could have widespread land use implications not just in the communities where they originated, but across the state — something advocates for county and municipal governments say has led to increasing concerns of state government preemption of local control.
Garland, Keithler: Local control is essential (Letter to the Editor)
Casper Star-Tribune, 2/17/2019
It certainly is here in Teton County. We as a community created a comprehensive plan, including land use development regulations. It truly is comprehensive, considering ALL aspects of land use development identified through years of public surveys, workshops and hearings.
When a new project is proposed there is a process for approval. Local citizens and local government are best suited to address and solve local issues. Now a new private school is being proposed that does not follow the local rules so the backers have turned to the state to ‘fix’ a local problem.