Where Local Government Trumps State

Sort of like when Republicans say “Let the states decide.” Let the locals decide.

Dan Walters wrote in the SacBee about where local government has been getting policy enacted more expeditiously with specific attention to banning plastics bags, minimum wage bumps, and gun control.

The plastic bag bans that seemed to fall like dominoes with city after city enacting one after another pushed the grocery store industry to lobby Sacramento for uniformity across the state.

While Governor Brown allowed a modest minimum wage bump, the higher cost of living areas have taken matters into their own hands, with San Francisco and Greater Los Angeles going after $15 an hour. Walters calls the minimum wage minefield “ripe for localization, because, frankly, it is cheaper to live in Hesperia versus Los Angeles. A statewide $15 an hour doesn’t make sense in smaller, cheaper communities.

The urban/rural divide appears again with regard to gun control. Walters calls rural guns “benign tools for [hunting and/or recreation,]” but not without acknowledging the contexts of Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

Walters’ message is thus, “Allowing local politicians and voters to tailor such policies to local circumstances and sensitivities makes sense in such a complex state.”

Walters’ piece can be found here in its entirety.