Friday, January 6, 2017

Home Rule Is No Longer Cool

I'm old enough to remember when Republicans demanded local control over their city and county governments because those knuckleheads in the state capitol and those nasty evil parasites in Dee Cee had no idea how anything worked in Our Heartland Real American Town.

Of course that was before the Kenyan Mooslim was elected and Republicans became those knuckleheads in the state capitol and those nasty evil parasites in Dee Cee after 2010, and now of course we have to stop those liberal enclaves from passing their own laws because who the hell do those people think they are anyway?  We're going to have to put a stop to home rule immediately.

Republican state legislatures are planning so-called preemption laws, which prevent cities and counties from passing new measures governing everything from taxes to environmental regulations and social issues.

Republican legislators around the country say liberal cities and counties vastly overstepped their bounds by implementing new taxes on sodas and sugary beverages, by raising local minimum wages or through strict new environmental regulations.

“What we see is circumventing the process that’s in place,” said Linda Upmeyer, the Republican speaker of the Iowa state House. “I think we will likely look at language on preemption so that the state is making decisions where it ought to, and cities and counties are making decisions where they should.” 
Democrats and city officials, however, see the preemption laws as a power grab aimed at limiting local governance in their party’s last bastions of political power — which have become ground zero in the fight to resist Trump. 
Preemption laws are nothing new in American history. The Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution makes clear that federal law supersedes state law, and similar clauses in state constitutions give state laws precedence over local laws.

In recent decades, tobacco companies have used preemption laws to overcome local smoking bans, and the National Rifle Association turned to preemption to block cities from implementing new gun control measures.

But in the last four years, after Republicans swept to power in legislatures across the country, the number of issues on which states are asserting their rights has skyrocketed, said Mark Pertschuk, director of the Oakland-based Grassroots Change, which keeps close tabs on preemption legislation. 
The tension has grown as cities experiment with measures to raise revenue, keep their citizens healthy or add new protections for workers — and as Republicans have won control of states where Democrats still run large cities. 
“In the past 10 to 15 years, cities have become the laboratories of innovation,” said Brooks Rainwater, director of the Center for City Solutions at the National League of Cities, which opposes local preemption laws. “The discordant views of those at the local level and those at the state level have led to some real challenges.”

And yes, the Constitution makes it clear that states can pass preemption laws.  But for some odd reason they were never a priority until you had large, diverse, Democratic cities in red states decide that they should start being nice to those people and that Republicans at the state level had managed to gerrymander state legislatures into near permanent control and even majorities large enough to override vetoes by governors.

Now in 2017, suddenly cities deciding local laws for themselves needs to be made illegal as quickly as possible, particularly local minimum wage increases.

As yourselves why that is.

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