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Sunday, July 2

Rising city-state conflicts in USA as Democrats lose state, federal power

The entire report linked to below is worth the read despite its obvious bias in favor of Democratic-Party controlled 'city states' but here I'm featuring just a few of the passages to convey some of the scope of the conflicts, which are at the root of increasing -- and increasingly bitter -- divisions in the United States between governments in major U.S. cities and the rest of America.  

In Austin, the air smells of tacos and trees — and city-state conflict
By Sandhya Somashekhar
July 1 at 11:06 PM
The Washington Post

[...]

But here in Texas, the bigger battle over tree ordinances is whether they represent a form of local government overreach. Gov. Greg Abbott (R), citing grave worries about “socialistic” behavior in the state’s liberal cities, has called on Texas lawmakers to gather this month for a special session that will consider a host of bills aimed at curtailing local power on issues ranging from taxation to collecting union dues.

Texas presents perhaps the most dramatic example of the increasingly acrimonious relationship between red-state leaders and their blue city centers, which have moved aggressively to expand environmental regulations and social programs often against the grain of their states.

Republican state leaders across the country have responded to the widening cultural gulf by passing legislation preempting local laws. The best-known example is North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” which was partially reversed this year. It was originally aimed at undercutting Charlotte’s efforts to expand civil rights laws to include LGBT people and to prevent cities from setting their own minimum wage.

But states also have gone after cities in more subtle ways. Ohio’s legislature last year attempted to block a Cleveland regulation that requires certain city contractors to hire local residents. A new Arizona law threatens to cut off funding to cities that take actions state officials deem to be in violation of state law.

But states also have gone after cities in more subtle ways. Ohio’s legislature last year attempted to block a Cleveland regulation that requires certain city contractors to hire local residents. A new Arizona law threatens to cut off funding to cities that take actions state officials deem to be in violation of state law.

“These preemption laws are designed to intimidate and bully local officials into doing the bidding of a smaller group of folks,” said Michael Alfano of the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, a new nonprofit organization aimed at fending off state efforts to undermine local power.

Matthew Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee, an organization of Republican state officials, said preemption laws are coming up more and more because of political losses by Democrats at the state and federal levels.

Cities “seem to be sort of the last vanguard of Democratic and progressive ideals, which at this point continue to move leftward toward . . . a more socialist vision,” Walter said. Because cities and counties derive their power from the states, states are within their rights to rein in rogue local governments, he said.

[...]
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