Broadband & Wireless
Fleeced by the Telecoms and Your State is Blessing It
The American Conservative, 10/21/2019
Joey Durel was not an obvious champion for building a municipal broadband network in his city. He owned multiple private businesses and was the head of the local chamber of commerce prior to becoming mayor of Lafayette, Louisiana, one of the most conservative urban centers in America…
Durel soon determined that a city-run broadband network would provide better services at lower prices than Bellsouth or Cox, but he was under no illusion those companies would go quietly into the night. However, he probably didn’t expect such a challenge to his authority—a challenge that went right up to the state legislature to stop him. This was preemption, and Durel was about to get one heck of an education in how monopolies use the levers of government to get what they want…
But in Lafayette a conservative legislature is stream-rolling what can only be described as a local conservative effort to save money and increase the quality of service to the community. [Emphasis added]
Plastic Bags & Other Disposable Containers
These 16 U.S. States Have a Ban on Banning Plastic?!
One Green Planet, 10/17/2019
While states like Massachusetts and California embrace plastic bag bans and laws on straws, other states are doing the opposite. North Dakota, Tennessee, and Oklahoma have enacted “ban on local bans” laws, also known as preemption laws, which prevents cities and towns from creating laws prohibiting plastic bags and the like.
Paid Sick Leave
On October 11, 2019, a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled that Washington state’s paid sick leave law does not violate the Constitution or federal preemption law, thereby guaranteeing sick leave benefits for airline flight crew employees based in Washington.
Ducey OK with municipalities differing from Arizona law on public health
The Daily Independent, 10/27/2019
PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday he’s OK with local governments enacting their own ordinances that conflict with state law — as long as the issue is public health…
Ducey’s comments come just days after the Tucson City Council voted 6-1 to set the minimum age to sell tobacco products at 21…
“If the city of Tucson makes a decision to raise the smoking age to 21, who am I to argue,” he said.
The smoking age and local preemption
Capitol Media Services, 10/26/2019
[Governor] Ducey sidestepped questions about whether he would veto any legislation to remove local options — the kind of legislation approved by the House earlier this year before it failed in the Senate.
That measure would have raised the age for purchase and sale from 18 to 21. But that proposal had a poison pill of sorts: It would block communities from enacting any new future local laws on the marketing and sale of both tobacco and vaping products.
Denver Wage Plan Sign of Fight Over Ever-Wider State Preemptions
Bloomberg Law, 10/25/2019
Denver officials are considering a minimum wage increase for the first time in 20 years—not because there’s been no appetite for it but because state law prevented it until now.
A new Colorado law effective in August lets cities and counties set minimum wage requirements higher than the state minimum, which is $11.10 per hour. The Denver mayor’s plan, if approved, would gradually raise the city’s wage floor to more than $15.
Anna Eskamani, Michael Grieco push bill allowing local bans of single-use plastics
Florida law currently blocks local governments from acting on the issue. “[N]o local government, local governmental agency, or state government agency may enact any rule, regulation, or ordinance regarding use, disposition, sale, prohibition, restriction, or tax of such auxiliary containers, wrappings, or disposable plastic bags,” the current law reads.
Sunscreen Proposal Gains Traction In Florida House
CBS Miami, 11/6/2019
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A House panel has approved a proposal that would prevent local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens and cosmetics, despite push-back from Democrats who contended the measure is a “knee-jerk” effort by lawmakers to limit local control.
Florida lawmakers take aim at sunscreen ban designed to save coral reefs
Orlando Weekly, 11/5/2019
In light of Key West banning the sale of sunscreens that contain chemicals believed to harm coral reefs, Florida lawmakers are fast-tracking proposals that would undo the local regulation.
Daily Bulletin: Florida Parents Lose Battle to Keep Guns Out of Their Schools
The Trace, 10/30/2019
A group of Florida parents lost their battle to keep guns out of schools. Circuit Court Judge Robert Dees said Monday that he’s siding with the city of Jacksonville in allowing school safety assistants who are not teachers to patrol K-12 campuses while armed. A group of parents and students sued last year to stop the practice.
Bevin brings campaign to Ohio County
“Without question, I am a believer in local control to the extent possible,” Bevin said. “We have to do it in a way that isn’t a detriment to Kentucky as a whole, but we do have some pretty antiquated rules in respect to who can have an occupancy tax for example. I am a big believer in us having a modern, 21st-century conversation, and I am looking forward to that conversation. We have started to make changes there and have given more control to local levels of control, including how discretionary road dollars are being spent. Local control and local voices need to be heard more than they have historically.”
Baltimore lawmakers advance plastic bag ban, 5-cent paper bag fee, and predict a statewide ban is coming
The Baltimore Sun, 10/28/2019
Cailey Locklair Tolle, president of the Maryland Retailers Association, said her organization no longer opposes the city bill because she expects the General Assembly to pass plastic bag-related legislation in 2020. As more county and municipal governments around the state adopt bans, retailers are seeking a simpler, statewide policy as opposed to what she called “this bizarre patchwork” of bag bans and fees.
Supreme Court reverses decision on Missoula gun ordinance
The Sun Times, 10/22/2019
In its Tuesday ruling, the Supreme Court said the ordinance went too far beyond keeping guns away from convicted felons, minors and the mentally ill. While the state law controlling local government’s ability to enact gun regulations allows cities the ability to restrict “possession” of firearms, it does not allow restrictions on purchase, sale, other transfer, ownership, transportation and use, the justices wrote.
Montana Supreme Court Rules Unanimously in Favor of Gun Rights
The Montana Supreme Court voted unanimously Oct. 22 to reverse a district judge’s decision to uphold extreme gun-control measures in Missoula, Mont.
The Missoula City Council passed an ordinance in 2016 that criminalized virtually all private firearms transfers in the city by requiring a background check for the sale or transfer of every firearm, including purchases at gun shows.
Montana Supreme Court Strikes Down Missoula Gun Control Scheme
State Lawmakers Continue Efforts To Block Local Plastic Bag Bans
Bans on single-use plastic bags in Bexley and in Cuyahoga County are scheduled to take effect in January.
And Republican state lawmakers are ramping up efforts to prevent local governments from passing such ordinances.
Plastic Bag Ban Debate Heats Up Again in Ohio as State Senate Considers Banning Bans
A state Senate committee held its first hearing Wednesday on SB 222, which would preempt local governments from banning or taxing single-use plastic bags.
Cuyahoga County passed such a ban that goes into effect Jan. 1, and a few other Ohio communities have similar ordinances on the books.
State vs. Local: Battle Over Home Rule Rages in Ohio
The home rule provision was added to the Ohio constitution by voters in 1912, and the struggles between local officials and state lawmakers have raged almost since then. There have been claims that home rule is “under attack”.
In recent years, state laws colliding with local ordinances on guns, fracking, traffic cameras, residency and construction projects have come for resolution to the Ohio Supreme Court. In 2009, assistant attorney general Benjamin Mizer argued before the court about a 2006 state law overturning more than a hundred local residency laws for public employees.
OPEN CARRY: More on provisions on new firearms law
McAlester News-Capitol, 11/1/2019
HB 2597 states that [it] is preempting any regulations set by towns and cities in Oklahoma.
“The State Legislature hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation in this state touching in any way (on) firearms, knives, components, ammunition and supplies to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance or regulation by any municipality, or any other political subdivision of this state.”
In court documents obtained by News 4, Lowe argues that House Bill 2597 violates the single-subject rule by addressing a number of other subjects including a campus weapon ban, undocumented immigrant actual and toy firearm ban, transportation of firearms in vehicle, preemption, and immunity.
In the paperwork, the plaintiffs ask the Supreme Court to reverse the trial court’s denial of the temporary injunction.
Can a campaign for nature and community rights stop aerial spraying in Oregon?
High Country News, 10/23/2019
With both hands in the pockets of his khakis, Loren Wand wavered nervously on a small stage at Bier One Brewing in Newport, Oregon. A gathering crowd milled about, some standing and chatting, others sitting in folding chairs in a few makeshift rows. As Wand started speaking, someone in the audience reminded him to talk directly into the microphone.
He did, telling the story of his wife, Debra Wand, who was 44 when she died from cancer. Wand attributes her illness, which started with respiratory issues, to aerially sprayed herbicides that drifted onto his wife on their rural property…
Wand’s story was the first of many told during the campaign for the ballot initiative, which narrowly prevailed in May 2017. Almost immediately after the ban passed, however, a local timberland owner and farming corporation challenged it in court. This September, a circuit court judge struck it down, saying it violated a state law pre-empting counties and cities from regulating pesticides. [Emphasis added]
Mayor Bill Peduto To Continue Legal Battle After Judge Tosses Laws Limiting Assault Weapons, Ammunition In Pittsburgh
Five years later: Denton’s epic battle to ban fracking and keep local control
Denton Record-Chronicle, 11/2/2019
Frustrated by years of industry maneuvers around zoning powers, residents became activists. They wrote a citizens referendum that tapped the city’s police powers in public health and safety to ban hydraulic fracturing. Voters made it local law on Nov. 4, 2014.
Mineral owners, operators and related businesses would have none of it. The state and the industry sued Denton. Then, in one fell swoop, the Texas Legislature passed a law undoing Denton’s vote and putting an end to most local rules for urban drillers. [Emphasis added]
San Antonio Businesses Going Back to Court Over Paid Sick Leave
Rivard Report, 10/30/2019
“The revisions do nothing to address the state preemption problem,” Cedillo said. Because the number of sick leave hours an employee receives is earned based on a number of hours worked, he said, it should be considered a wage, which would violate the state’s minimum wage laws.
Rep. Kyle Kacal talks election issues, Bonnen recording
Waco Tribune-Herald 10/27/2019
Kacal and the other GOP lawmakers apparently were targeted because they didn’t support Senate Bill 29, a failed bill that would have prevented cities and counties from lobbying using taxpayer dollars.
Kacal this week was unapologetic about that position, saying that he doesn’t see county and city governments as the adversaries some state lawmakers do.
“I ran on local control, and I think I’ve been consistent since Day 1,” he said. “I’ve worked with my mayors, county judges, commissioners. It’s a partnership. … My job is not to come in and tell the people of Waco that you voted wrong.”
Kacal said he was shocked by Bonnen’s denigration of local government in the recording.
“Let me tell you something,” Bonnen tells Sullivan in the recording. “In this office, and in the conference room on that end, any mayor or county judge who’s [dumb] enough to come meet with me, I told them with great clarity, my goal is for this to be the worst session in the history of the Legislature for cities and counties.” [Emphasis added]
ENTERPRISE EDITORIAL: Legislature should honor concept of local control
Beaumont Enterprise, 10/27/2019
The impending departure of Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen is shaking the Legislature in many ways, as it should. When a powerful politician with a promising career is forced to step down because of ethical lapses, changes are in order. For the Republicans who control both chambers, one shift is overdue — renewed respect for the concept of “local control,” the ability of cities, counties and school districts to make their own decisions as much as possible. [Emphasis added]
House Speaker Dennis Bonnen may be gone, but the fight over local control continues
Richard Green, star-telegram.com, 10/25/2019
Prior to and during the Legislature’s last session, readers may recall, I tried to sound the alarm about the disdain many of our state lawmakers have for local governments.
Some of the feedback I received was that my concerns were unfounded and that our representatives were only trying to cut property taxes…
When Empower Texans lobbyist Michael Quinn Sullivan ratted out two of the most powerful men in the Legislature, my fears of what was afoot were dramatically eclipsed.
Concerns that they wanted to eviscerate the privileges of city and county officials and the voters who put them in office proved to be on target. But it went well beyond matters of public policy. Their motives were exposed as full on hatred of local governments. [Emphasis added]
Washington: Court Upholds State Preemption in Legal Victory for NRA & SAF
On October 18th, law-abiding gun owners won a major victory when the Washington Superior Court granted a motion for summary judgment against the City of Edmonds for violating the state’s preemption statute. This win invalidates the mandatory firearm storage ordinance passed by the City Council, and constitutes a victory for freedom and the Second Amendment.
Door County Daily News, Letter to the Editor: End Plastic Waste
Door County Daily News, 11/1/2019
AB177 returns local control to those interested in pursuing more environmentally sustainable practices and in finding local solutions to waste pollution. In April 2019 the bill was assigned to the Assembly Committee on Local Government, headed by Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville). It is critically important that this issue get the attention of lawmakers, and AB 177 deserves to be passed. The first step is for Rep. Novak to schedule a hearing on AB 177.