Local Solutions Support Center’s virtual training webinar on preemption impact research findings:
When: December 4th from 2-3pm ET
What: Three leading preemption researchers on a webinar to help advocates anticipate and prepare for 2020 legislative session, including Mark Treskon, Senior Research Associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute; Jennifer Pomeranz, Assistant Professor, College of Global Public Health at New York University; and, Jennifer Karas Montez, Professor of Sociology, the Gerald B. Cramer Faculty Scholar in Aging Studies, and Co-Director of the Policy, Place, and Population Health Lab at Syracuse University.
How to Register: Please register for this meeting online.
Climate Change & the Natural Environment
AG Donovan joins lawsuit to preserve California’s advanced clean car standards
MONTPELIER – Attorney General T.J. Donovan joined a coalition of states to file a lawsuit opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attempt to revoke portions of a waiver it previously granted to the State of California permitting the state to implement its greenhouse gas (GHG) and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standards. Today’s action, filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, is part of the states’ ongoing fight to protect California’s Advanced Clean Car Standards. The California standards, which are more protective than those established by the federal government, are followed, in whole or in part, by 13 other states – including Vermont. They are a key part of state-level efforts to protect public health, clean air, and the environment.
Broadband & Wireless
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.
Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever
In recent weeks, gun owners have been given two prime examples of just how important strong firearms preemption laws are to the vibrant exercise of Second Amendment rights. On October 22, the Montana Supreme Court struck down a Missoula ordinance that purported to restrict city residents’ ability to transfer firearms. On October 29, Allegheny County Common Pleas Senior Judge Joseph M. James struck down a raft of Pittsburgh ordinances that purported to regulate the use of firearms in public places within the city and provide for the confiscation of firearms without due process. In both instances the tribunals pointed to the state firearms preemption statute as precluding the locality’s anti-gun efforts.
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.
Senate renews push for single-use plastic bag ban
South Coast Today, 11/21/2019
The Senate bill forbids communities from imposing any additional limitations beyond those included in the legislation.
“The bill that was sent to the House did not have the fee, and it also had preemption for any current city policies,” Eldridge said. “This bill has preemption, but only for anything that’s above what this bill does, so that creates a state uniform policy.”
Florida House ‘assault weapons’ ban bill filed, Senate companion coming soon
The Center Square, 11/15/2019
SB 134/HB 6009, companion Senate-House bills filed by Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, and Rep. Dan Daley, D-Sunrise, seeking to repeal a 1987 preemption law that prohibits local governments from adopting gun regulations more restrictive than the state’s.
Democrats denounce GOP preemption bills for stifling fight against climate change
Democratic lawmakers in Florida demanding clean-energy and climate-change policies said Wednesday that the first thing Republicans can do to help is stop blocking local ordinances that aim to protect the environment.
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.
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.
Massachusetts one step closer to statewide plastic bag ban
More than 100 Massachusetts cities and towns have already passed local laws banning plastic bags.
The Senate bill would preempt existing local plastic bag bans already implemented in cities and towns.
Statewide plastic bag ban moves ahead on Beacon Hill
Boston Herald, 11/18/2019
Over 100 cities and towns in Massachusetts have passed local laws to ban plastic, so the bill would preempt existing bans for consistency. Plastic bags would still be allowed for specific products, such as produce, poultry or other food items, to keep them fresh, or for frozen foods or items prone to leak.
State Senate Plans Plastic Bag Ban
The upper chamber’s Ways and Means Committee will release a bill Monday morning that would ban single-use plastic shopping bags at store checkouts statewide and would preempt any plastic bag regulations already in place at the municipal level, such as Boston’s local ordinance.
In light of state-wide bag ban, communities to readdress local laws
The Times Record, 11/18/2019
Brunswick Town Manager John Eldridge said he expects staff will recommend in the spring that the Town Council remove the town’s single-use bag ordinance since the new state law effectively repeals local rules. The move comes following a new state law banning single-use bags passed by the Legislature earlier this year.
Fernandes goes to bat for local control of pesticides
Martha’s Vineyard Times, 11/13/2019
State Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, who represents the Island in the House of Representatives, testified on a bill he filed to regulate pesticides and give local towns a say in what’s used.
House OKs gun law pre-emption, fine for CPL violation
Valliant News, 11/19/2019
Lansing — The Republican-controlled state House passed two new gun measures Wednesday that would stop local governments from adopting ordinances stricter than state gun laws and impose a civil fine instead of the current felony charge for those carrying expired concealed pistol licenses.
Nickel per single-use store bag approved by Minneapolis City Council
Brainerd Dispatch, 11/22/2019
Passing the bag ban was easy; the council approved it 10-3. But a year later, just before the ordinance was to take effect, the Minnesota Legislature — then controlled by Republicans — banned cities from banning bags. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton said he didn’t like the preemption measure, but still approved it because it was tucked into a jobs bill.
County Commission Should Not Give Up Local Control, Local Zoning
[O]f the 42 different types of land uses in the new District “W,” which is about 90 percent of the county, an entity could build a utility waste landfill or industrial animal farm, without a public hearing and with no local restrictions that would protect neighbors and adjacent businesses.
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.
Fake guns banned in downtown Las Vegas district, but real guns OK
Las Vegas Review-Journal, 11/20/2019
Local policymakers do not have regulatory authority over real firearms — an issue left to state lawmakers.
Don Turner, president of the Nevada Firearms Coalition, said the reason that local governments may even regulate fake guns is because an actual firearm is well-defined in state statute, and “that’s how they skirt the state pre-emption law.”
GOP lawmakers want to prohibit local bans on plastic bags, takeout containers
The Columbus Dispatch, 11/13/2019
A Bexley ban on using plastic bags for groceries and other purchases could be stopped before it ever goes into effect if state lawmakers pass one of two bills before the end of the year.
Supporters say a “preemption law” is necessary to prevent a patchwork of regulations from hurting retailers and manufacturers. But opponents, such as Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler, told The Dispatch that such a law would be a clear violation of his city’s constitutional right to home rule.
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]
City Council passes new gun regulation in spite of state’s preemption law
Philadelphia Tribune, 11/14/2019
Philadelphia City Council passed a new gun regulation on Thursday that will no doubt face a legal challenge at the state level if Mayor Jim Kenney signs it.
The legislation would establish a court process to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose an imminent threat to themselves or the public — commonly known as a “red flag” law.
Officials advocate for local control
Cleburne Times-Review, 11/24/2019
Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen-R’s October announcement that he will not seek re-election last year did little to quell Johnson County Commissioner Rick Bailey’s concerns.
“No, because I don’t trust the guy not to try to run again,” Bailey said. “He may not. But he may also be thinking that by keeping quiet for a while he’ll get forgiveness from the inner Austin circle and that the local leaders in the rest of Texas will forget about him.
“Even if he doesn’t run our lieutenant governor and governor are as adamant as [Bonnen] on local control and other issues adversely affecting Texas counties and cities. So either way, local governments are still going to face a lot of issues and challenges in the next legislative session.”
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.
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.
2020 gun control agenda targets limits on high-capacity magazines
The 12-point agenda is thorough, including goals to regulate access to ammunition and high-capacity magazines, “address the intersection of alcohol and firearm violence,” allow local governments to enact stricter gun control, create a centralized background check system, and more.
Tacoma Gun & Ammunition Tax Passes City Council Unanimously
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- On 12 November 2019, the Tacoma City Council passed its controversial tax on guns and ammunition. The tax is based on a similar tax in Seattle. The vote was unanimous, 8-0. 112 people were reported to have spoken on the issue.
To an ordinary reader, the tax would seem to violate the Washington State preemption law. The Washington Supreme Court held differently in 2017. It voted that a tax was not a regulation.
Tacoma, Washington Gun Tax Based on False Premises
When Seattle imposed a tax on guns and ammunition, the Washington Supreme Court has held a tax on guns is not a regulation of guns. It upheld the ability of cities to tax guns and ammunition in 2017. The Washington Supreme Court can not be counted on to protect the Citizens of Tacoma from the gun tax.
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.