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Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has signed into law a hastily-passed bill that bans local governments from passing their own anti-discrimination or minimum-wage ordinances. The effort is part of a broader trend of state pre-emption of progressive local policies. (Image: via Facing South)

Pre-empting Local Democracy in North Carolina and Beyond

Sue Sturgis

 by Facing South

Date on which the city council in Charlotte, North Carolina, passed an ordinance expanding the city's non-discrimination policy to offer new protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and to allow people to use public restrooms based on their gender identity: 2/22/2016

Vote by which the Charlotte ordinance passed: 7-4

Date on which it was set to take effect: 4/1/2016

Date on which North Carolina's Republican-controlled legislature convened a special session to overturn the Charlotte ordinance with House Bill 2, which was expanded to include provisions banning local governments from adopting minimum-wage and anti-discrimination ordinances: 3/23/2016

Amount it costs per day to convene a special session: $42,000

Number of hours that passed between the bill's introduction and its signing into law by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory: 9

Minutes members of the House committee that considered the bill got to read it: 5

Minutes the House allotted for public comment on the measure: 30

Final vote to pass the bill in the House: 82-26

Number of House Democrats who voted for the bill, which had the support of all of the Republicans: 11

The vote to pass the bill in the Senate after all of the Democrats walked out of the chamber in protest: 32-0

Number of advocacy groups that have announced they are considering litigation challenging the law: 3

Last year alone, number of state legislatures that considered bills to block local control over a range of issues, including LGBT rights, the minimum wage, fracking, gun control and immigration: 29

Number of such local pre-emption bills filed so far this year just in Florida: 20

Number of states in which the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that crafts model legislation promoting the interests of its corporate funder including telecom giants like AT&T and Comcast, has worked to pre-empt municipal broadband services: 19

Date on which McCrory signed into law an ALEC-inspired bill to ban North Carolina communities from adopting so-called "sanctuary city" or "community trust policies" limiting local police involvement in federal immigration enforcement: 10/29/2015

Year in which the Texas community of Denton passed a local ballot initiative against fracking only to have the oil and gas industry join forces with ALEC-affiliated state lawmakers to override it: 2014

Number of other states that have already passed laws pre-empting local non-discrimination ordinances: 2*

Month in which South Dakota passed such a bill only to have Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard veto it, arguing it didn't address any pressing need: 2/2016

Number of states that so far this year are considering bills to reverse the corporate-backed trend towards pre-emption: 2

* Tennessee in 2011 and Arkansas in 2015.

(Click on figure to go to source.)


© 2021 Institute for Southern Studies
Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis is the Director and regular contributor to the Institute for Southern Study's online magazine, Facing South, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. Sue is the author or co-author of five Institute reports, including Faith in the Gulf (Aug/Sept 2008), Hurricane Katrina and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (January 2008) and Blueprint for Gulf Renewal (Aug/Sept 2007). Sue holds a Masters in Journalism from New York University.

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