July 16, 2019 Preemption Watch Newsletter

New Research

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.

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