States’ War on Cities

25Beyond North Carolina’s LGBT Battle: States’ War on Cities
North Carolina’s fight over LGBT protections is part of a larger recent shift in political dynamics: States are thwarting local laws any chance they get — while simultaneously complaining about federal intrusion on their own.


St. Louis can’t get a break from its own state. Last year, Missouri enacted a law preventing St. Louis and other cities from setting their own minimum-wage rates and from banning plastic grocery bags. This year, state lawmakers have spent a considerable amount of time debating whether to prohibit the city from taxing the income of its residents and workers. The state, which took control of the St. Louis police force during the Civil War, didn’t give it back until 2013, when it was forced to by a voter-approved ballot measure.

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