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The power of local governments to pass laws that protect the health, safety and welfare of their citizens is waning and under increasing attack. Over the past four years, a historic number of local interference (preemption) bills have been filed and passed in state capitals across the country. Over time, these bills, crafted to strip local governments of their power to act on everything from fracking bans to anti-discrimination measures, have become wider in scope and more hostile to home rule. More industries and special interest groups now consider preemption a legislative imperative, including the oil and gas industry and groups opposing LGBTQ rights.
Many policies that help make healthier foods available to families start locally. But what if your state lawmakers suddenly passed legislation that took away the ability of community members, city councils, school districts, and counties to help prevent heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes? Some states have already passed laws that stop, limit, or discourage local communities from enacting commonsense policy solutions that help create environments where families have increased access to healthy foods; positive changes for communities that are proven to help all kids grow up at a healthy weight and prevent disease.
Coordinated messaging from industry lobbyists and state legislators who support preemption is similar or identical across issues and states. This document lays out a number of predictable pro-preemption statements or messages, followed by accurate messages you can use to refute them, or to counter them in advance.
The loss of local control due to state or federal \"preemption\" is a national trend and, as illustrated by these quotes, of great concern to local policymakers and advocates regardless of partisan affiliations. Use these as a resource to develop messaging appropriate for your audience.