Preemption Laws Outnumber Paid Sick Leave Laws This Year

Local paid sick leave laws and state laws preempting those laws are the duality of the PSL debate. The yin and yang of the issue. Judging by 2017 events, the momentum seems to have swung markedly toward state laws banning municipalities from enacting PSL bills.


Within the past week, the governors of Arkansas (Act 643) and Iowa (HF 295) have signed into law typical PSL preemption bills, “typical” meaning that the law bars political subdivisions from enacting PSL requirements that exceed state or federal law.   Earlier this year, as I noted in an earlier post, Ohio joined the list of PSL preemption states.

That list is likely to have two more additions very soon. Both houses of the Georgia and South Carolina legislature have enacted PSL preemption bills. Both states have Republican governors.

On the PSL side of the duality, no local government has enacted a PSL law thus far in 2017, though a few are pending. On the state front, we continue to wait to see, and handicap, which state will become the eighth state to enact a PSL law.  In January, I posted that, applying my cryptic and always dangerous political analysis, described generally here, Maryland and Rhode Island were more likely than not to enact a PSL law this year. The Maryland legislative session ends in just a few days, on April 10. The Rhode Island session continues into June. But, as noted in my recent PSL quarterly report, PSL bills are pending in more than a dozen states so State Number Eight might not be either Maryland or Rhode Island.