Thursday, April 15, 2021
Kim Haddow, Derek Carr, Benjamin D. Winig, Sabrina Adler, Preemption, Public Health, and Equity in the Time of COVID-19, COVID-19 Policy Playbook: Legal Recommendations for a Safer, More Equitable Future. Boston: Public Health Law Watch
Preemption is a legal doctrine that allows a higher level of government to limit or eliminate the power of a lower level of government to regulate a specific issue. As governments seek to address the myriad health, social, and economic consequences of COVID-19, an effective response requires coordination between state and local governments. Unfortunately, for many localities, the misuse of state preemption over the last decade has increased state and local government friction and weakened or abolished local governments’ ability to adopt the health- and equity-promoting policies necessary to respond to and recover from this crisis. The broad misuse of preemption has left localities without the legal authority and policy tools needed to respond to the pandemic. Existing state preemption of paid sick leave, municipal broadband, and equitable housing policies, for example, forced local governments to start from behind.