Local Public Health Policymakers’ Views on State Preemption: Results of a National Survey, 2018
Lainie Rutkow, et al. American Journal of Public Health. August 2019.
Researchers suggest that preemption will restrict or negate local public health policy-making. Our findings confirm that the vast majority of health officials and mayors have abandoned or delayed policy-making initiatives because of preemption. Fewer than one third of mayors and health officials implemented a local law when faced with preemption. These data provide support for the concern that preemption—or even the threat of preemption—has a “chilling effect.” Preemption may stifle the development, passage, and implementation of local policies as well as the potential for local innovation.
Local Policymakers’ New Role: Preventing Preemption
Jennifer L. Pomeranz. American Journal of Public Health. August 2019.
The study by Rutkow et al. provides new and compelling evidence that preemption has real consequences for public health policy-making across a wide range of topic areas. Local policymakers’ responses confirmed that preemption may undermine local democracy, prevent policymakers from addressing the needs and values of their communities, and lead to deregulation. Local policymakers are now in a position to have to educate community members, state officials, and the media on the realities of preemption and the values of local control.
For more about recent preemption research, see Research Roundup at the end of this newsletter.
Broadband & Wireless
Feinstein Bill Restores Local Control to Support 5G Deployment
Office of Senator Diane Feinstein, 6/27/2019
Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today introduced the Restoring Local Control Over Public Infrastructure Act to restore state and local government control over how wireless carriers deploy 5G equipment on phone and utility poles.
The legislation is in response to a pair of recent FCC rules that revoke local authority to regulate telecommunications equipment deployment and determine how much wireless carriers would pay to use public phone and utility poles.
Weld County Uses New Local Control Law To Create Oil And Gas Department
At the state level, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has a backlog of thousands of drilling permits; officials hope the new department will help speed up the local part of the process.
This spring legislators passed Senate Bill 181, which was aimed at giving cities and counties more control over the oil and gas development process. While most local governments are expected to use the new law to make oil and gas development more difficult, Weld County is moving to make drilling more efficient for companies.
How Colorado Towns Are Starting to Use Their “Local Control” of Fracking
With a few strokes of his pen on April 16, Governor Jared Polis granted city and county governments in Colorado something they’d never had before: the authority to regulate oil and gas operations within their borders. Now they have to figure out how to use it.
The Florida Legislature turned hard right. These 15 votes show how much. | Editorial
Tampa Bay Times, 7/10/2019
Arming classroom teachers and steering public money to private school tuition. Banning sanctuary cities and threatening local officials who help undocumented immigrants. Eroding local control on multiple fronts.
Not even trees are safe from the Florida Legislature | Editorial
Tampa Bay Times, 7/10/2019
Is there no local issue too small for Tallahassee to micromanage? In the latest example of state overreach, Florida lawmakers have effectively overturned local tree protections, putting the tree canopy across the state at greater risk to developers and property owners who want even more freedom to build where-ever they please. This is a significant loss for local control and the sensible accommodations that builders and environmentalists have made in Tampa and elsewhere that reflect the wishes of local communities.
South Florida mayors fight anti-democratic ban on local gun restrictions | Fred Grimm
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 6/14/2019
Times have changed — and tragically — since the NRA’s boot-licking sycophants in Tallahassee corrupted the concept of local governance…
Mayors from Weston, Miramar and Pompano Beach, joined by more than 70 elected officials from 30 cities and three counties, filed suit, beseeching a Leon County circuit judge to undo penalties “so harsh” and a law “so vague that they preclude local governments and elected officials from taking any action that is even remotely related to firearms or that might conceivably or arguably be interpreted or misconstrued as preempted.”
Done in Deerfield: Appeals Court Dismisses Challenge to Gun Ban Injunction
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)-The Appellate Court of Illinois, District Two, has dismissed an attempt by the Village of Deerfield to appeal a permanent injunction against the community’s 2018 ban on so-called “assault weapons,” explaining in its 18-page ruling that it lacked jurisdiction to do so.
Earlier this year, the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association were granted a permanent injunction against the ban on behalf of Deerfield resident Daniel Easterday. They were represented by Glen Ellyn attorney David Sigale.
The injunction was originally granted by Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Judge Luis A. Berrones in March.
Bevin announces legislation that would ban sanctuary cities
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says some Republican lawmakers will introduce legislation to keep local governments from enacting policies that would keep police from cooperating with immigration authorities…
The announcement came as President Donald Trump said a nationwide immigration enforcement operation targeting people who are in the U.S. illegally will start Sunday.
Maine House rejects giving towns ‘local control’ over guns in polling places
Portland Press-Herald, 6/12/2019
AUGUSTA — A proposal to allow municipalities to prohibit guns at public meetings and in polling places has been defeated in the Legislature.
The House voted 85-61 to reject a bill that would have allowed towns, counties and school boards in Maine to adopt their own policies banning “the carrying of dangerous weapons at its public proceedings and voting places.” The Senate had rejected the bill on a 21-14 vote Tuesday.
Beyond Pesticides: Montgomery County Legal Victory a Win for Public Health and the Environment, Loss for Pesticide Industry Bullying
Beyond Pesticides, prnewswire.com, 7/12/2019
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md., July, 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today Maryland’s highest court upheld the right of local governments to restrict the use of toxic lawn care pesticides more stringently than the state. By denying an appeal from the pesticide industry’s challenge to a lower court ruling, the Maryland Court of Appeals has made official Montgomery County’s 2015 Healthy Lawns Act, which prohibits toxic pesticides from being used on public and private property for cosmetic purposes.
Plastic bag ban caught in political crosswind
Gloucester Daily Times, 7/14/2019
A bipartisan proposal, backed by nearly 100 lawmakers, called for phasing out plastic bags used by convenience stores and supermarkets and allowing retailers to charge a 10-cent fee for biodegradable and reusable bags, as well as recycled paper bags.
But the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Agriculture, deliberating behind closed doors, stripped the fee and added a “preemption” clause that would effectively override nearly 100 local plastic bag bans, some of them voter-approved. It also would allow stores to offer thicker plastic bags as alternatives.
Branson approves vaping rules for minors
Branson News, 6/28/2019
City Attorney Chris Lebeck said state law already exists on the issue, but passing the amendment gives the city local control of the issue. In 2014, Lebeck said changes to the court system in Missouri limited what can be done regarding certain offenses.
Rural county in uproar over new large-scale feedlot law
STOCKTON, MO. — Many residents of a rural southwestern Missouri county are critical of a state law that restricts how much local authorities can regulate industrial feedlots and say they feel betrayed by their local representatives who backed the legislation.
Group: Missouri CAFO law puts water, Ozarks at risk
The Joplin Globe, 7/7/2019
Those of us listed here have come together to express our concerns about a little-known action taken by the Missouri Legislature in the final week of the session regarding factory farms known as confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and the authority of locally elected county officials or local control. We fear that the action presents a serious potential threat to water quality and quality of life in the Ozarks.
That about sums it up SB391 hurts Cedar County, opens CAFOs to unspoiled Missouri farm country
Speaking to the mechanics of the bill’s language, it stamps out almost all semblances of county sovereignty. It blatantly strips individual decisioning power regarding concentrated animal feeding operations and a number of county health regulations from the very people elected to perform said tasks.
A few requirements or controls at the state level are definitely understandable — checks and balances are always necessary to a certain extent. However, the reach of this bill casts a state-wide shadow over most facets of local control counties have (or used to have) regarding CAFOs.
What has the Montana Shooting Sports Association Done For You?
Pasted below is a list of many of (not all) of Montana Shooting Sports Association’s political successes, done on behalf of Montana gun owners. No other pro-gun political entity in the US, heck in the World, has the exemplary string of successes that Montana Shooting Sports Association can claim…
Many Montanans say, “I don’t need to be a member of MSSA because the NRA handles gun rights stuff.” No. Just no!
…MSSA does the heavy lifting and the primary pro-gun work. MSSA writes the pro-gun bills that the Legislature passes…
MONTANA SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION…
SUCCESSFUL WORK FOR FIREARM OWNERS, HUNTERS, AND PEOPLE OF MONTANA
1985 – Local governments preemption. Even prior to founding MSSA, the founding members worked hard for your gun rights. These founders backed law preventing local governments from passing arbitrary gun control ordinances, except for regulating the discharge of firearms inside city limits, and regulating the carrying of firearms into public parks and public buildings. [Emphasis added]
Cincinnati the Latest City to Sue State of Ohio Over Gun Law Restrictions
Can Ohio cities pass gun control laws stricter than the state’s? That will be up to courts to decide.
The city of Cincinnati filed a lawsuit against the state of Ohio in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court last week alleging that Ohio’s House Bill 228 violates the so-called “home rule” rights of municipalities.
Pennsylvania Blocks All Bans, Taxes On Plastic Bags For At Least One Year
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf has signed legislation barring Pennsylvania’s municipalities from taxing or banning the sale or distribution of plastic bags and other containers, wrappings and bags.
The measure Wolf signed Friday is a 69-page budget-related bill that lawmakers unveiled two days ago.
Lubbock lawmakers call 86th session a successful one
The battle that seemed to raise its head more was statewide vs. local, or the state legislature vs. city councils. Some recent bills will impact local decisions, such as the bill to stop forced annexations and the property tax bill with the lower automatic rollback rate, but the state lawmakers argued against any notion that they’re taking away local control.
Lawmakers to return to Richmond for special session on guns
The Roanoke Times, 7/6/2019
Democrats are expected to file a suite of proposals such as universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, requiring people to report lost and stolen firearms, and tougher penalties when firearms are left in the presence of minors. Northam is also interested in legislation expanding local authority to regulate firearms, such as in government buildings. [Emphasis added]
Fredericksburg council backs Northam proposal to give localities more say on guns
After some debate, the Fredericksburg City Council has voted to support Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposal to give local governments more say in gun rules and regulations.
Virginia: Richmond Mayor Attacks The Right-to-Carry And State Preemption
Daily Caller, 6/30/2019
Virginia’s 400,000 concealed handgun permit holders would not be able to exercise their Right-to-Carry in large portions of their capital city if Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney had his way. On Monday, Stoney proposed a local ordinance that would prohibit law-abiding gun owners from carrying a firearm in any “[c]ity-owned building, park, or recreation or community facility.”
Aside from restricting the Right-to-Carry, the legislation is a direct attack on Virginia’s firearms preemption law, which prohibits localities from passing their own gun control laws.
Gun rights groups pull out of suit against Edmonds gun storage law
In August 2018 the NRA and Second Amendment Foundation joined with Bass, McCullough and Seaberg to challenge the law in court. The suit argues that the ordinance violates Washington State’s preemption statute, which grants exclusive authority for gun regulation in Washington to the State Legislature.
Report: State preemption laws disproportionately hurt women, people of color
State laws that prevent local governments from making their own rules on issues like affordable housing and minimum wages are especially detrimental to women and people of color. That’s according to a new report from the Partnership for Working Families, a national coalition of advocacy groups…
Jennifer Pomeranz on Food Policy and Industry Tactics Driving Preemption
Duke Sanford World Food Policy Center, 4/25/2019
In the past several years, cities in California led the way in passing taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages. Berkeley was first with Oakland, San Francisco and Albany, California following, each with the aim of improving public health by decreasing consumption of beverages known to be associated with obesity, diabetes, and other medical issues, and to raise revenue for needed programs. But then something historic happened: preemption. A leading expert on the application of the law on public health and on the issue of preemption is Jennifer Pomeranz.
Property rights and rural justice: A study of U.S. right-to-farm laws
Ashwood L, Diamond D, Walker F. Journal of Rural Studies. 67:12-129. April 2019.
Right-to-farm laws initially were touted as an attempt to preserve farmland and the farming way of life in the face of urban sprawl during the 1980’s… Closer studies of such laws suggest that they have little to do with preserving a farming-centered way of life, and have more to do with preempting local land use controls and limiting environmental rights and protection of natural resources, often to the detriment of rural people (Hamilton, 1998). [Emphasis added]