States Pre-empting Local Governments From Regulating Business

An article in the Star Democrat describes how many states are taking actions to pre-empt local governments from enacting local laws to regulate business.  From the article,

In the past five years, roughly a dozen states have enacted laws barring local governments from requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave to employees. The number of states banning local minimum wages has grown to 15. And while oil-rich states such as Texas and Oklahoma are pursuing bills banning local restrictions on drilling, other states where agriculture is big business have been banning local limitations on the types of seeds sown for crops.

States have also taken actions to prohibit local governments from banning plastic bags to placing limits on sugary drinks.

The article points out that while State’s pre-empting local governments is not new, there has been an uptick in these occurrences since the 2010 elections.

States have pre-empted some local policies for decades. A movement to restrict local gun ordinances began in 1971, for example, and has been enacted as law in 45 states, according to the National Rifle Association. State lawmakers in Oklahoma and Michigan this year are pushing similar measures for knives.

Some experts trace a rise in states pre-empting local ordinances to the 2010 elections, when Republicans won control of 25 legislatures and 29 governors’ offices. Republicans have expanded their power since then and now hold complete control of three times as many legislatures and governors’ offices as Democrats.

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