MultiState's Local Policy Digest explores the top legislative developments this week from municipalities across the U.S.
San Francisco may become the first city to ban all flavored e-vaping liquids, as well as menthol cigarettes and flavor tobacco. At a meeting on Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products “including menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars, flavored smokeless tobacco, flavored shisha, and flavored nicotine solutions that are used in electronic cigarettes.” The ordinance must pass a final vote next week. If approved, it will go into effect in April 2018. Other large California jurisdictions, like Contra Costa County and the city of Oakland, are also considering additional restrictions on flavored tobacco, including zoning and licensing regulations. However, San Francisco is the first city to propose such a comprehensive ban.
Las Vegas is tightening regulations on short-term rentals. On Wednesday, amidst pressure from residents concerned about the increasing number of short-term rentals, the city council voted 4-to-3 to pass an ordinance imposing tighter restrictions on short-term rentals. The new law requires all short-term rental listings to obtain a special use permit, and imposes a fine of up to $500 per day on violators. In addition, the bill bans parties and events at short-term rentals and requires owners to carry liability insurance. A spokesperson from AirBnB claimed the law was “a step in the wrong direction that threatens an important economic lifeline for thousands of Las Vegas families.” However, some citizens see the ordinance as necessary to protect neighbors from rowdy tourists.
Nashville proposed an ordinance that would limit local law enforcement's cooperation with ICE agents, and some state legislators are criticizing the move. On Tuesday evening, the Nashville Metropolitan Council voted to move forward with a controversial sanctuary city ordinance by a margin of 25-to-8, with four abstentions. The ordinance (BL2017-739) would prohibit any public employee from using “funds, resources, or facilities of the metropolitan government to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws...or expend their time or use any resources responding to inquiries from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)...unless such assistance is required by federal or state law or by a court order.” Following the vote, Tennessee State Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) spoke out against the ordinance, pointing out that there is already a state law barring cities from enacting legislation that puts them at odds with federal immigration agencies. "There is a high cost to illegal immigration for our cities, counties, and state," said Senator Tracy. "That is why we took action in 2009 to prevent it. The ordinance passed yesterday clearly defies the letter and the spirit of our state law." The council will hold the ordinance's third and final reading on July 6.
New York City is the latest city to restrict the performance of exotic animals. On Wednesday, the city joined a growing list of localities around the country that ban the performance of exotic animals. That list already includes Los Angeles, San Francisco, West Hollywood, Maui County, and Madison, Wisconsin. The adopted ordinance, which was introduced last year, finally passed the council 43-to-6 this week. The city council will meet again next week to discuss adding a one-year grace period before the ordinance goes into effect.