GOP Plans 'Pre-Emptive' Law Crackdown On Liberal City Agendas

For years the liberal elitist politicians of large metropolitan cities around the country have overstepped their boundaries by passing city-level taxes on things like sugary drinks while also imposing new regulations like minimum wage hikes and, our personal favorite, plastic bag bans, which just went into effect for many cities across the country. 

As exhibit A, just yesterday we presented the following receipt showing the impact of Philadelphia's new 51% "beverage tax":

Beverage Tax

 

And who can forget Bloomberg's attempt to ban sugary drinks over 16 ounces from being served in restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas in New York City back in 2012.  While New York's highest court ultimately ruled that New York City lacked the authority to implement the ban, it nonetheless became the poster child for the liberal Nanny State.

Nanny State

 

But, as The Hill points out, the consolidation of power in state capitals as a result the 2016 election has many Republican state legislatures looking to fight back against their rogue bastions of liberalism. 

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.”

In fact, in the last month alone both Michigan and Wisconsin passed state laws preventing individual cities from banning plastic grocery bags.  Moreover, the state of Ohio overturned Cleveland's effort to raise its minimum wage.

In just the last month, legislatures in Michigan and Wisconsin have passed laws preempting local governments from banning plastic grocery bags. In the last few years, courts have upheld the rights of Colorado and Texas legislators to prevent municipalities from banning hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, within their borders. Ohio is the latest state to preempt local efforts to raise the minimum wage, after Cleveland tried to boost wages for its lowest-paid workers.

 

Proponents of local control worry that with the incoming Trump administration, even more power will bleed away from cities and counties. The outgoing Obama administration sided with municipal utilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Wilson, N.C., when the utilities wanted to expand access to broadband internet services beyond city borders. Republican-led legislatures in both states blocked those efforts, before the Federal Communications Commission stepped in.

 

Anticipating the number of measures likely to spring up in legislatures in the coming months, Pertschuk added: “This is going to be the worst year we’ve ever had.”

Meanwhile, rather than addressing new rules and regulations individually, other states are considering "blanket preemption" laws that would automatically cut off state funding for cities that pass legislation that runs contrary to state law.

At least some Republican-dominated states are considering what Pertschuk calls “blanket preemption” laws, similar to a measure Arizona lawmakers passed last year. That law would allow the state to cut off funding to cities that refuse to give up laws that run counter to state law.

 

The city of Tucson is in the midst of a legal battle over a local gun control measure that Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) says stands in contrast to state law.

And Trump has been quite clear that he intends to pursue a similar strategy when it comes to withholding federal funding from states that refuse to enforce federal laws, like harboring illegal immigrants.

 

And while we're not quite sure whether the masses will survive without Mayor Bloomberg dictating what size soda they should drink, we certainly look forward to giving it a shot.