April 23, 2015 - Preemption Watch News

The disenfranchisement of small-town America
Al Jazeera, 4/10/15

Paid sick leave gets a big push from the White House
HR Business and Legal Resources, 4/13/15
"In an effort to thwart local sick leave ordinances, nearly a dozen states have passed so-call 'pre-emption' laws banning local jurisdictions from passing paid sick leave measures. Most recently, Florida enacted a preemption law, joining Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Similar bills are awaiting legislative action in Alabama, Indiana, and Michigan."

Obama aide takes Philly's side in sick-leave fight, 4/21/15
Valerie Jarrett, Senior White House Advisor, calls proposed state preemption of Philadelphia law “dreadful… I think, frankly, Pennsylvania should follow Philadelphia's lead."

TSCA reform bill vote set for 14 May
Chemical Watch, 4/15/15
S.697, The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

MAILBAG: U.S. concealed carry law undermines local rule
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, 4/11/15
This addresses a bill that would preempt state gun laws and force state and local law enforcement to permit the concealed carrying of handguns. Unlikely to pass, but a reminder of the dangers inherent on preemption.

'Fast, fair and open:' FCC Chairman lays out his big picture for broadband
WRAL TechWire, 4/20/15
Includes full text of Chairman Wheeler's speech of April 14th at the Broadband Communities Summit. This is one of the best discussions of the significance of preemption that we have seen in recent years. Kudos to Chairman Wheeler and President Obama. 

GMO labeling bill stalls amid interagency, committee tussle
Energywire, 4/21/15
The Safe and Accurate Labeling Act, H.R. 1599, would preempt state GMO labelling laws and “would also allow USDA to certify non-GMO products, in a manner similar to its program for certified organic goods.


A bill that would preempt local minimum wage, benefit and paid sick days ordinances that are stronger than the state’s is currently under discussion in committee.

Voters already gave cities chance to set living wage
Arizona Daily Sun, 4/16/15
An editorial that suggests a 2013 minimum wage preemption law is itself preempted by a “1998 voter-passed constitutional amendment that prohibits lawmakers from changing anything approved by voters without a three-fourths vote of the House and Senate,” which is consistent with the “2006 voter-approved initiative that not only raised the state minimum wage… but also specifically allowed localities to set their own minimums, as long as they were higher than the state’s.”

Lawsuit Withdrawal Emboldens Some California Local Control Advocates
Natural Gas Intelligence, 4/13/15
Information on industry efforts to undermine local control.

California's SB 4, which created a regulatory framework for hydrofracturing and other oil and gas operations, includes protections for local regulation of oil and gas industry.

Town ban on wild animals not OK, state says
Palm Beach Daily News, 4/11/15

MoCo Pesticide Ban May Be Vulnerable To Court Challenge, Says Attorney General’s Office
Bethesda Now, 4/20/15
Potential state preemption of local ordinances banning or limiting the use of lawn pesticides.

HF 843, the “Omnibus employment and economic development bill” preempts all local minimum wage and benefits requirements (including paid sick days) which are higher than the state minimum.

North Carolina
New tensions emerge in war over NC billboards
The News & Observer, 4/16/15

HB 304, proposed preemption of local (and some state) authority over billboards.

County vote amendment offered on controversial 'right to farm' bill in Oklahoma
Tulsa World, 4/17/15
“The amendment from Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, would let counties call a special election rather than having a statewide vote to amend the constitution.”

Oklahoma Senate passes 'Right to Farm' bill
Tulsa World, 4/22/15
On April 21, 2015, HJR 1012 passed which states “the Legislature shall pass no law which abridges the right of citizens and lawful residents of Oklahoma to employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices without a compelling state interest.” If passed, will likely preempt local health and safety regulations of Factory Farms, also known as CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations).

Proposal aims to override Oregon’s GMO pre-emption

Capital Press, 4/8/15

Steiner Hayward Renews Efforts to License Tobacco Vendors, Curtail Sales to Minors

The Lund Report, 4/14/15

Two Oregon ballot measures offer recipe for chaos
Capital Press, 4/15/15
The final amendment could also include a state pre-emption against counties enacting their own bans on using e-cigarettes in vape shops, which Multnomah County has already done.

Pa. Senate votes to stop Phila. sick-leave law, 4/14/15

Reaction To State Senate Pushback On Philadelphia Paid Sick Leave Law
CBS Philly, 4/20/15
SB 333

Texas Tries to Stop Safeguards for Gays as Rural Areas Hold Sway
Bloomberg, 4/10/15

Be worried cities, another pre-emption bill is on the way
The Dallas Morning News, 4/21/15
HB 3263 “would pre-empt the right of cities to establish rules to regulate payday lending operations.”

College system votes for local gun control
Houston Chronicle, 4/14/15

Senate Bill 1673 riling cities
Statesman, 4/17/15
SB 1673 is “an adaptation of the earlier SB 343” seeks to preempt all local control to “adopt ordinances that regulate anything preempted by state law.”

Anti-local fracking control bill advances in Texas
Platts, 4/20
“In a 125-20 vote, the Republican-dominated Texas House of Representatives approved on third reading H.B. 40. The legislation would "expressly pre-empt local ordinances that ban or limit oil and gas operations," including hydraulic fracturing.”

The Petri Dish: Local battles over marijuana
Central Kitsap Reporter, 4/16/15
HB 2136 would preempt local enactment or enforcement of “a moratorium or prohibition on the production, processing, researching, or retail sale of marijuana.” However, the bill would allow for a citizen petition process to place proposed bans on the local ballot as initiatives.

SB 132 would regulate e-cigarette/vapor products but preempts local authority to regulate their use in private businesses.

Preemption in Marijuana Policy: Never a Good Idea for Public Health
Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UCSF; 4/13/15


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                                     Mark Pertschuk                                Michael Bare                     
Director                                            Program Manager

Preemption Watch is a project of Grassroots Change. Grassroots Change supports grassroots public health and safety movements. We’re joined together by a shared belief in the power of grassroots movements and a commitment to improving the lives of all Americans – whether that means access to healthy foods, violence prevention, paid sick days, or reconnecting children with nature.

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Support for this project is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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