City Councils

News & Analysis as of

NYC Passes Bill Targeting Grocery Industry

The New York City Council’s targeted attacks on specific industries continue unabated. After levying onerous new labor law requirements on car washes this past summer, the Council recently turned its attention to the grocery...more

Update: NYC Mayor Signs Caregiver Discrimination Bill into Law

On January 5, 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a New York City Council bill that prohibits employment discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived status as a caregiver. The new law will come into...more

Shrinking Buffer Zones? Municipalities Now Have Discretion to Decrease the 1,000 Foot Requirement

Looking for a location for a licensed marijuana premises? Changes to the buffer zone requirements may be headed to your fair city. Previously, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (“LCB”) would not issue a...more

Tacoma Passes Moratorium on New Retail Stores, Medical Cooperatives

Thinking about opening a recreational store or medical cooperative in Tacoma? Better sit tight, at least for the time being. On Tuesday, January 13, 2016, the Tacoma City Council passed a “temporary moratorium on new...more

Circuit Court Holds that Public Body May Not Discuss Election of Officers in Closed Session

In Denton v. City Council for the City of Hopewell, CL 2015-71 (Hopewell Cir. Ct. 2015), a suit brought under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Va. Code §§ 2.2-3700 et seq., (“FOIA”), the Hopewell Circuit Court...more

NYC Cares for Caregivers: New Bill Awaiting Mayor’s Signature Would Make Caregivers a Protected Class

On December 16, 2015, the New York City Council passed a bill prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees based on their actual or perceived status as a caregiver. The new law would establish caregiver status...more

Seattle City Council Passes Union Legislative Over Mayor’s Objections

On December 14, 2015, the Seattle City Council passed a highly controversial bill purporting to allow individuals who drive for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize. The law would further permit...more

D.C. Council Announces 2016 Hearing Dates for Universal Paid Leave Act

As we previously reported, on October 6, the D.C. Council introduced the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 (the “Act”). If passed, the Act would provide D.C. employees with the most generous statutorily-mandated leave benefits...more

'Star Wars' as a Fundraising Hook...and Other, Disparate, Attention-Grabbing Items

MAY THE FARCE BE WITH YOU. I never got “Star Wars,” the cultural phenomenon. It seemed like a good enough movie to bring your six-year-old to on an overcast summer afternoon, but basically a long cartoon with spectacular...more

Under Construction - December 2015

Letter from the Editor - Welcome to the final 2015 edition of our Under Construction newsletter. It is hard to believe that 2016 is right around the corner! Drones are a hot topic right now. The first article in...more

Colorado Springs Joins Other Colorado Municipalities in Addressing Construction Defect Reformation

On December 8, 2015, the Colorado Springs City Council unanimously (9-0) voted to approve an Ordinance that reforms construction defects litigation for common interest communities. In a municipality that rarely has unanimous...more

NYC Employers Must Offer Pre-Tax Transportation Benefits Starting Jan. 1

Effective January 1, 2016, most New York City employers with 20 or more full-time employees will be required by law to offer those employees the opportunity to use pre-tax earnings to purchase qualified transportation fringe...more

D.C. Council Holds Hearing on New Tax to Fund Unprecedented Family Leave Benefits

On December 3, 2015, the D.C. Council Committee of the Whole held an advocates-only hearing on the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 (Act), which was introduced on October 6, 2015 by a majority of councilmembers. As...more

The Meaning of “Malfeasance in Office” and the Lifetime Ban to Holding Office it Carries

The California Attorney General concluded in a recent opinion that the City of Commerce has the right to sue a sitting city councilmember convicted of a crime to test if he has the right to hold office. The Attorney General...more

Charlotte General Election Newsletter

Election Analysis - Consistent with past local elections, less than 15 percent of registered voters turned out to the Charlotte general election yesterday. Democrats again dominated the polls, holding the mayoral office...more

Tax Haven List Repealed by D.C. Council

After being in effect for only a week, the Council of the District of Columbia (Council) unanimously enacted legislation on November 3, 2015 that will repeal the list of tax haven jurisdictions specifically enumerated in the...more

Chicago Mayor’s Tax-Heavy Budget Passes: Lease and Amusement Tax Implications

Last week the Chicago City Council approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2016 revenue ordinance as part of his tax-laden budget proposal. The revenue ordinance included noteworthy changes to the personal property lease transaction...more

California Court: School Districts Cannot Prevent Posting of Videos of Open Board Meetings

Our friends over at the EdLawConnectBlog in California published a blog about an interesting case from the Golden State that school leaders from across the country may find interesting. The case addressed whether school...more

The Ethics Advisor: The Proper Roles of Staff and Elected Officials

Most cities in California (an overwhelming 97 percent) operate under the “Council-Manager form of government,” under which the elected councilmembers directly hire and oversee one top-level employee (the city manager) to...more

Chicago City Council approves changes to Transit Oriented Development

The City of Chicago City Council voted on Thursday, Sept. 25 to approve a revised Transit Oriented Development (TOD) ordinance. The revised TOD ordinance expands the boundaries of eligible properties and allows the...more

D.C. Council Introduces Legislation That Would Give D.C. Employees Up to 16 Weeks of Paid Family and Medical Leave

On October 6, 2015, the D.C. Council introduced the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2014. If enacted, the proposed law will allow employees in D.C. to take up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave in a 12-month period,...more

D.C. Council Introduces Bill Providing 16 Weeks Of PAID Leave to D.C. Employees

Yesterday (October 6, 2015), 7 of the 13 members of the Council of the District of Columbia introduced the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 (the “Act”). If passed, the Act would significantly impact employers and workers in...more

Federal Court Nixes City’s Attempt to Use Copyright Law to Curtail Critic’s Speech on YouTube

A California city cannot hold one of its citizens liable for copyright infringement for using clips of city council meetings in his critical YouTube videos, a federal judge has ruled. The August 20, 2015 order in City of...more

Court Dismisses City’s Copyright Claim Against Critic for Using Council Meeting Clips in YouTube Videos

A California city cannot hold one of its citizens liable for copyright infringement for using clips of city council meetings in his critical YouTube videos, a federal judge has ruled. The August 20, 2015, Order in City of...more

Pittsburgh City Council Passes Mandatory Paid Sick Time Law

Last week, the Pittsburgh City Council passed the Paid Sick Days Act (the Act), which Mayor Bill Peduto is projected to sign into law shortly. The Act is expected to become effective 90 days after the mayor signs it and the...more

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