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Republican Legislators Push for Cities to Be Treated as "Tenants of the State"

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http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39899-republican-legislators-push-for-cities-to-be-treated-as-tenants-of-the-state

Right now, there are two bills filed in the Florida legislature that propose sweeping new restrictions on local governments. One (House Bill 17) would bar them from regulating "businesses, professions, and occupations," the other (SB 1158), would expressly preempt "the regulation of matters relating to commerce, trade, and labor." The broad language of the bills has local advocates up in arms and newspapers like the Naples Daily News asking whether "local regulations [are] a thing of the past." The legislative session to discuss and advance the bills began March 7.

Though egregious, what may be most noteworthy about the bills is how ordinary they actually are. Bills like them have become commonplace in the United States.

Local governments have become a battleground, and corporate interests seeking to dampen their influence have been proposing and passing bills like these for years. Countless local minimum wage hikes, worker protection bills, rent laws, police oversight initiatives, fossil fuel extraction bans and other progressive reforms have passed across the country since 2008. In Florida, local ordinances on wage theft, expanded paid leave, fracking, gun regulations and more have been central to the left's platform. Now more than ever, going local has become a key way to make gains and resist -- especially under Trump.

In response, corporate and right-wing interests have used their disproportionate (and often gerrymandered) control over state legislatures to pass "state preemption" bills like HB 17 and SB 1158 to quell local activism. Increasingly, the basic powers of local governments are becoming a keystone in the fight over a slew of issues, including the maintenance of democracy itself.

As "preemption" spreads and becomes all the more encompassing -- or in other words, as more states remove specific or broad powers from local governments -- it is beginning to smother basic elements of local democracy. "Home Rule," which exists to safeguard an assumption of power for local governments, is being silently reversed.

Home Rule powers for municipalities were won decades -- and in some states, a century -- ago through state constitutional amendments spearheaded by the "Progressive Era." With Home Rule, localities enjoy a presumption of power, which means that if the state is silent on an issue, municipalities can fill the void. Without Home Rule, all their powers have to be explicitly granted to them by the state, as was the case in Florida, before voters approved a Home Rule amendment in 1968. Municipalities were wards of the state. Home Rule tried to reverse that.

However, nothing in the Home Rule amendments placed a check on the state's authority to unilaterally restrict and weaken Home Rule powers. For example, HB 17 and SB 1158, if passed, would rein in powers the 1968 Florida amendment won for municipalities. As the Florida League of Cities warns, "The bills would return Florida to a time when redress of local problems depended on a statewide body [the legislature] that took official action only once a year and from hundreds of miles away."

For years this loophole has been exploited, across the country. Lobbies like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a leading force behind state preemption, and their allies have made it their business to chip away at Home Rule. Now, in 2017, the limits on Home Rule are becoming so far-reaching that Home Rule itself is at risk of being reversed. HB 17, for example, prohibits localities from regulating businesses, professions or occupations unless "expressly authorized by general law."

This reversal of whose power enjoys the benefit of the doubt -- the state's power or local power -- is a direct echo of a legal doctrine called "Dillon's Rule," which treats municipalities as "children" of the state. The 1907 US Supreme Court decision Hunter v. Pittsburgh gave credence and widespread legitimacy to the doctrine. "Municipal corporations," the court wrote, "owe their origin to, and derive their powers and rights wholly from, the legislature. It breathes into them the breath of life, without which it cannot exist." Under Dillon's logic, the state enjoys the benefit of doubt.

Not surprisingly, in January 2016 the American Legislative Exchange Council's American City County Exchange (ACCE) -- created to push local free-market reforms like municipal right-to-work -- released a paper in defense of Dillon's Rule. "Local governments," they wrote, "are tenants of the state."

Despite the ramifications of Dillon's Rule's supremacy in fights like those raging in Florida and across the country, much of the left's response to the doctrine remains largely stalled by a dated understanding of local authority. Often, the debate about how much power local governments should have leads to conversations about the dangers of total "local control" on the one hand, and the dangers of an unchecked federal or state government on the other. The conversation typically stalls there, and falls short of a more complex vision for local governments, where neither the municipality nor the state has total control. As a result, the left has largely clung to Home Rule, even as Home Rule itself has been subverted.

ACCE actually has a more accurate understanding of Home Rule -- which might be one reason the left has been so ill-prepared in its response to state preemption. Although Home Rule gives localities authority to make a range of decisions and Dillon's Rule creates a framework where local governments can only legislate when the state has explicitly allowed them to, ACCE understands that, "the two are not mutually exclusive." Home Rule exists within Dillon's Rule.

As we see in states across the country, Home Rule does not guard against state-imposed "emergency management," or sweeping preemption bills that remove essential local powers. The material impacts are clear for millions of Americans fighting for higher wages and better living conditions. Unlike the left, however, ACCE understands how Home Rule is compatible with the dominant Dillon's Rule, because there is no limit to the restrictions states can place on Home Rule.

The left's responses to the attacks on local democracy have largely failed to address these structural realities. Moving beyond a (justified) outrage over preemption has proven difficult. Alternatives to the conditions that give rise to the preemption are largely neglected.

The best defense is a good offense. So, what might a strong offense look like for local governments?

Local self-determination has been a demand of Native nations, liberation struggles and neighborhoods for years, decades and centuries. Now, these dormant demands are gaining mainstream recognition. A central demand of the Standing Rock Sioux is self-determination and sovereignty. As Betsy DeVos takes the helm of the US Department of Education, state takeovers of elected school districts will likely spread, prompting education justice groups like the Journey for Justice Alliance to elevate age-old demands for "community control of schools." In several states, the efforts of the Community Rights Movement to advance a new relationship between states and local residents, which takes into account basic protections for local self-governance, are similarly gaining recognition.

Back in Florida, preemption is emerging as a core political issue. The new organization #DefendLocal, sparked by opposition to preemption of local gun control laws, is spearheading a coalition to "send a message to [their] state lawmakers that local communities want local solutions to local problems, not more heavy-handed state government." The alliance spans a wide range of advocacy groups: SEIU Florida, Equality Florida, Florida Immigrant Coalition, The Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, Florida National Organization for Women, ReThink Energy Florida and others are all "partner organizations."

It's not clear what the coalition will turn into. What is clear, however, is the historic opportunity for the demand for local self-determination -- both as an end and a means to unite the many movements currently restricted by the Dillon's Rule paradigm.

Across the board, local self-determination is becoming a central demand of the grassroots and the American public in general. It is no secret that the centralization of political power is a root cause of broad political disillusionment. So it may not matter that the left as a whole currently lacks a clear, robust, alternative vision for local self-government in the 21st century. Calls for self-determination resonate with many people in the US and whispers of a vision for local self-determination are beginning to emerge and gain traction from the ground up.

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Except an enormous central/federal command and control authoritarian govt is a good thing?

What you really lament is that the left has been rejected from power... from local to state to federal.

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http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article138964428.html

Facing a bread shortage that is spawning massive lines and souring the national mood, the Venezuelan government is responding this week by detaining bakers and seizing establishments.

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.

In a statement, the government said the bakers had been selling underweight bread and were using price-regulated flour to illegally make specialty items, like sweet rolls and croissants.

The government said bakeries are only allowed to produce French bread and white loaves, or pan canilla, with government-imported flour. However, in a tweet on Thursday, price control czar William Contreras said only 90 percent of baked goods had to be price-controlled products.

Two bakeries were also seized for 90 days for breaking a number of rules, including selling overpriced bread.

Juan Crespo, the president of the Industrial Flour Union called Sintra-Harina, which represents 9,000 bakeries nationwide, said the government’s heavy hand isn’t going to solve the problem.

“The government isn’t importing enough wheat,” he said. “If you don’t have wheat, you don’t have flour, and if you don’t have flour, you don’t have bread.”

He said the country needs four, 30,000-ton boats of wheat every month to cover basic demand.

The notion that bread could become an issue in Venezuela is one more indictment of an economic system gone bust. The country boasts the world’s largest oil reserves but it has to import just about everything else. Facing a cash crunch, the government has dramatically cut back imports, sparking shortages, massive lines and fueling triple-digit inflation.

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Pk, you know very little about South America, and even less about Home Rule and the lucid discussion of the same by Tex. I would disagree that the only reason Tex is concerned with Home rule losing their independence from the state, rather some people can chew gum and walk, and hold two concepts which are not contradictory. Good government can happen at the federal level, the state level, and the local level. The breadth of a program is not the determining factor, rather the efficiencies of that program at the level it is proposed. The assumption is that a local school board is better equipped to deal with education issues at the local level than a federal mandate, and I generally agree. However, if at the state level, book purchases can be twenty five percent less expensive, then a state which works with local school boards is not necessarily a horrible big government intrusion, and conversely a home rule municipality which has a problem which they believe they can solve which does not contradict state statute, the local government can be more efficient and responsive to the people. I can certainly tell you have never even served on any government committee at local, state, or federal levels because your naive paradigm is simply child like.

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A child can be more objective than an indoctrinated adult. I'd be glad if results were not ignored to maintain foolish collectivist crapola. The federal govt has gone off of the rails... while you make excuses.

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Prior to the 1970 Clean Water Act, I would fish an old wooden dam on a river where each August an algae bloom which started in Wisconsin would work its way down feeding on Municipal sewage discharge where the Algae would choke out the O2 and all the fish kills would begin. At the dam the laundry detergents being dumped in the river system would create a huge bubble bath where the winds would blow huge bubble plumes over the highway bridge. Most of the towns had unitary storm and sewage sewer systems which meant on a heavy rain raw sewage would spill into the river. As kids people would yell at us to get out of the river because we could get a disease.

After the passage of the Clean Water Act and the creation of the EPA funding was provided for tertiary sanitary sewage treatment plants and separation of storm sewers and sewage sewers........where I had once only been able to fish for bottom feeders, I took my children in 1990 fishing for small mouth, walleye, and large mouth. Where I saw four restrooms as a five year old in Birmingham, I saw my children enjoy diversity in their education and housing which without the federal government, we would probably have slavery because folks like you who claim freedom and liberty use the buzz words to hide your real agenda which is a deep seated belief that the wealthy should rule this nation and that people of color or different cultures, religions, and ethnicity should be treated as less than an American citizen. You can put on the camo.......but we can see you.

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Blah blah blah... the only reason that leftists are supporting this Soros talkingpoint is because they have been overwhelmingly rejected from power. If they still ruled then they would reject local rule.

Just more hypocrisy.

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Pkr reminds me of one of those old stuffed character toys, where you pulled a string and the toy responded with a random recorded catch phrase.

"Soros talking point"

"collectivist crapola"

"central/federal command and control"

"authoritarian government"

"group think"

"hyper partisan set of subjective rules"

"safe places"

"leftist talking point"

"progressive prohibitions and social engineering"

"wacky dnc talking points"

"participation ribbons"

"enormous central command and control government"

"comrade"

Pull the string, and put together a perfectly good Pkrbum post!

Entertaining at first, but ultimately something that could hold only a child's interest.

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Probably at the worst you are right, but I think he has just become non responsive. I posted very specific examples of where the federal government has done things which were beneficial. If he came back and responded to my specific post and said that building tertiary sewage treatment plants was a huge waste of money and the federal government is inefficient, we are having a conversation. I would have asked for some examples, and perhaps he could show a study that the build outs on sewer systems in America was wasteful, and therefore the federal government is doing things which were better suited for local government. However, to simply post something non responsive is usually just intellectually being lazy, and the chatty Cathy pull my string....."comrades" becomes the response which does not contribute to good discussions. I understand at times we all say.....F.....it......we do not agree, but I would like to know why the clean water act and congress cleaning up our water resources is not a beneficial action which the federal government was the ONLY entity which could make the improvements I have seen in my life time happen.

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Gosh... leftists get grumpy when they've been relegated to irrelevance.

Remember the talkingpoints before the election about the crumbling repug party? Good times comrades.

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The Republican Party is not representing Americans. Celebrating electoral success without the policies being implemented which helps Americans, is just patting bad actors on the back for bad actions. That is simply the truth. When people strive to remove taxes, why not be honest.......the ACA raised taxes on top income brackets. The repeal lowers taxes. Not socialism, not communism, just the general welfare of Americans being advanced by increasing health insurance coverage. The reality is that we have avarice and greed controlling policy which expands wealth among the 1%. The truth is that the ACA was wealth distribution, as the taxes on the wealthy made it easier to offer subsidy for poor and middle class families. Now that redistribution is taking from the poor and middle class and giving it to the wealthy.......the result.....24 million fewer people being covered by insurance.

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You left out the "over ten years".

Sooo... 2.4 million a year won't be forced to buy a product that they can't afford.

What would be reasonable is to at least wait until the senate deliberates. It could be an entirely different bill. Or... continue with your talkingpoint rages. It'd be nice if you were at minimum honest tho.

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PkrBum wrote:You left out the "over ten years".  

Sooo... 2.4 million a year won't be forced to buy a product that they can't afford.

What would be reasonable is to at least wait until the senate deliberates. It could be an entirely different bill. Or... continue with your talkingpoint rages. It'd be nice if you were at minimum honest tho.

You actually have the nerve to talk about honesty.

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Floridatexan wrote:
PkrBum wrote:You left out the "over ten years".  

Sooo... 2.4 million a year won't be forced to buy a product that they can't afford.

What would be reasonable is to at least wait until the senate deliberates. It could be an entirely different bill. Or... continue with your talkingpoint rages. It'd be nice if you were at minimum honest tho.

You actually have the nerve to talk about honesty.


Didn't Mr. Honesty try to have you kicked of the forum once FT? Am I wrong about that?

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Yes...it's true. I was actually banned for a few hours, but I caught the tail end of the discussion before I couldn't log on. There's no way my warning to Chrissy could have been interpreted as a threat. My advice was based on her statement that her boss was taking an interest in her forum activities, some of which must have taken place at work, so I told her she was in danger of being fired.

As for the topic here, I don't think Pkr understands that it is him that's actually advocating for "big government". Unless municipalities are in violation of the law, there's no reason for the state to run things at the local level.

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Floridatexan wrote: I don't think Pkr understands that it is him that's actually advocating for "big government".  Unless municipalities are in violation of the law, there's no reason for the state to run things at the local level.  

I agree... but it's you that doesn't understand that a large and in charge federal govt ratchets all power up the line and out of the hands of localities. Your support (when dems are in charge) for central planning moves the needle away from what you just said. The positions are not compatible.

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PkrBum wrote:
Floridatexan wrote: I don't think Pkr understands that it is him that's actually advocating for "big government".  Unless municipalities are in violation of the law, there's no reason for the state to run things at the local level.  

I agree... but it's you that doesn't understand that a large and in charge federal govt ratchets all power up the line and out of the hands of localities. Your support (when dems are in charge)  for central planning moves the needle away from what you just said. The positions are not compatible.

I do not support "central planning", doofus.

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Floridatexan wrote:
Yes...it's true.  I was actually banned for a few hours, but I caught the tail end of the discussion before I couldn't log on.  There's no way my warning to Chrissy could have been interpreted as a threat.  My advice was based on her statement that her boss was taking an interest in her forum activities, some of which must have taken place at work, so I told her she was in danger of being fired.
 



Okay but what did that have to do with Pkr? Don't tell me anyone in their right mind ever gave Pkr the power to moderate this forum. It does seem Chrissy was given special privileges on this forum.



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Telstar wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
Yes...it's true.  I was actually banned for a few hours, but I caught the tail end of the discussion before I couldn't log on.  There's no way my warning to Chrissy could have been interpreted as a threat.  My advice was based on her statement that her boss was taking an interest in her forum activities, some of which must have taken place at work, so I told her she was in danger of being fired.
 



Okay but what did that have to do with Pkr? Don't tell me anyone in their right mind ever gave Pkr the power to moderate this forum. It does seem Chrissy was given special privileges on this forum.




He and DE tried to say that I had threatened Chrissy. She got away with far more on the forum than she should have.

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Telstar wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
Yes...it's true.  I was actually banned for a few hours, but I caught the tail end of the discussion before I couldn't log on.  There's no way my warning to Chrissy could have been interpreted as a threat.  My advice was based on her statement that her boss was taking an interest in her forum activities, some of which must have taken place at work, so I told her she was in danger of being fired.
 



Okay but what did that have to do with Pkr? Don't tell me anyone in their right mind ever gave Pkr the power to moderate this forum. It does seem Chrissy was given special privileges on this forum.





You can't help yourself.....stir that pot.

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PkrBum wrote:Gosh... leftists get grumpy when they've been relegated to irrelevance.

Remember the talkingpoints before the election about the crumbling repug party? Good times comrades.

Thanks for providing an absolutely perfect example of exactly what Sal and, especially, Sea, were saying about you.



Last edited by RealLindaL on 3/23/2017, 4:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Pkr, this is a serious question: Do you ever smile or laugh, other than cynically? I keep seeing all this deadly serious rigidity in you, with nary a hint of warmth or humor. Am I reading you wrong? I hope so, for your sake.

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Joanimaroni wrote:
Telstar wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
Yes...it's true.  I was actually banned for a few hours, but I caught the tail end of the discussion before I couldn't log on.  There's no way my warning to Chrissy could have been interpreted as a threat.  My advice was based on her statement that her boss was taking an interest in her forum activities, some of which must have taken place at work, so I told her she was in danger of being fired.
 



Okay but what did that have to do with Pkr? Don't tell me anyone in their right mind ever gave Pkr the power to moderate this forum. It does seem Chrissy was given special privileges on this forum.





You can't help yourself.....stir that pot.



LOL Look at what is talking about pot stirring. Rolling Eyes

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Joanimaroni wrote:
Telstar wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
Yes...it's true.  I was actually banned for a few hours, but I caught the tail end of the discussion before I couldn't log on.  There's no way my warning to Chrissy could have been interpreted as a threat.  My advice was based on her statement that her boss was taking an interest in her forum activities, some of which must have taken place at work, so I told her she was in danger of being fired.
 



Okay but what did that have to do with Pkr? Don't tell me anyone in their right mind ever gave Pkr the power to moderate this forum. It does seem Chrissy was given special privileges on this forum.





You can't help yourself.....stir that pot.

Excuse me? I answered a direct question. I'm not stirring anything. Come to think of it, though, I'm sure your claw was in that debacle somewhere.

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Floridatexan wrote:
Joanimaroni wrote:
Telstar wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
Yes...it's true.  I was actually banned for a few hours, but I caught the tail end of the discussion before I couldn't log on.  There's no way my warning to Chrissy could have been interpreted as a threat.  My advice was based on her statement that her boss was taking an interest in her forum activities, some of which must have taken place at work, so I told her she was in danger of being fired.
 



Okay but what did that have to do with Pkr? Don't tell me anyone in their right mind ever gave Pkr the power to moderate this forum. It does seem Chrissy was given special privileges on this forum.





You can't help yourself.....stir that pot.

Excuse me?  I answered a direct question.  I'm not stirring anything.  Come to think of it, though, I'm sure your claw was in that debacle somewhere.


I was not posting to you....

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