5 things Arizona cities can’t do thanks to state pre-emption laws

Cities can’t pass inclusionary zoning laws

By Steven Hsieh | Phoenix New Times

During his State of the State speech on Monday, Republican Governor Doug Ducey announced that he wants to ban “sanctuary cities,” the colloquial term for places where local cops limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

The governor was responding to a failed attempt in Tucson to pass a sanctuary ballot initiative in November. Although we haven’t seen the bill yet, Republican State Representative T.J. Shope has been tapped to sponsor a ballot referral — meaning a bill that legislators vote to send to voters — to ward off any other cities that might try to make things friendlier for undocumented immigrants.

Ducey’s anti-sanctuary proposal is hardly the first time Arizona lawmakers have tried to strip power from cities to prevent them from passing progressive policies. Known as “pre-emption laws,” legislation sticking it to city councils on behalf of special interests is a cherished tradition in the Arizona Capitol. We even have a law — known as the “mother of all local pr-emption bills” — granting state authorities the power to withhold funds from any city that defies state law.


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