Municipalities

News & Analysis as of

IRS-State Information Sharing Agreements

The IRS published a list of Information Exchange agreements it has with state agencies, a copy of which is available here IRS State Information Exchange Table.pdf The disclosure of this list may help taxpayer's and...more

EPA’s Chesapeake Bay TMDL Survives Legal Challenge: Stricter Water Quality Regulation of Farms, Municipalities, Industry, and...

On July 6, 2015, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously rejected a challenge brought by agricultural and builder groups to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay...more

Privacy and Security Guidance: Cloud Computing in the MUSH Sector

I. Purpose of this Guidance Document and How to Apply - This document is intended to be used by decision makers in the MUSH Sector when considering using cloud services....more

Police Officer Awarded $145,000 in Whistleblower Lawsuit

A police officer from Millburn, New Jersey was recently awarded $145,000 in a whistleblower lawsuit against the city. Sergeant Robert Ronceray initially filed the complaint in June 2013 against the Millburn Township and the...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Ordinance Regulating Directional Signs

In the case of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the United States Supreme Court recently issued a significant decision regarding municipal sign regulation The Town of Gilbert regulated signage differently based on the content of the...more

Appellate Court Notes

- Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: - SC19422 - Awdziewicz v. Meriden Certain police officers retired, entitling them to pension benefits under the City Charter as previously modified in a separate lawsuit...more

Guest Commentary: Life after Reed v Gilbert

Last week, we reported on the potential impact of Reed v. Gilbert, the sign regulation case that has municipalities across the nation concerned about the enforceability of local sign ordinances. This week, we’re happy to...more

Main Street v. Hackensack: A Cure in the Redevelopment Area Process . . . but Still in Need of an Ounce of Prevention

Until the recent Supreme Court decision in 62-64 Main Street, L.L.C. v. Hackensack, 221 N.J. 129 (2015) (“Hackensack”), many municipalities and developers of redevelopment projects were concerned that if an existing area in...more

California Water Suppliers Take Steps to Meet Conservation Standards

From restrictions on yard irrigation to public awareness campaigns, California’s water suppliers are using a variety of approaches to meet mandatory water cutbacks resulting from the drought. Here are some notable examples...more

California’s Record-Setting Solar Generation can be Furthered by Municipality Action

California is in the midst of a record-setting year in terms of generating solar power, according to a recent article in The Desert Sun. The first five months of 2015 have already seen the state’s high mark from 2014...more

Texas Town Repeals Voter-Approved Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

Just seven months after voters in Denton, Texas, approved a measure banning hydraulic fracturing within city limits, the Denton City Council voted 6 to 1 to repeal the ban. Council members called the move a “strategic repeal”...more

Reed v. Gilbert: Impact to municipalities across the nation

Although the case is outside the RLUIPA realm or even specific to religious-based speech, the Supreme Court’s decision last week in Reed v. Gilbert will undoubtedly impact RLUIPA Defense readers. We previously reported on the...more

SEC Announces First Wave of MCDC Underwriter Sanctions

The Securities Exchange Commission announced June 18 the first major wave of underwriter sanctions under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (“MCDC”) Initiative. The SEC sanctioned 36 municipal underwriting...more

Emergency Managers Not Authorized To Rubber Stamp Prior Acts of Local Officials

In a first-of-its-kind case, a panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that an Emergency Manager (EM) is not authorized by either Act 4 or Act 436 to ratify prior acts of a local government official, even where he...more

House Bill 15-1348-Urban Renewal – Frequently Asked Questions

H.B. 15-1348 was signed by the Governor on May 29. The bill enacts several changes related to urban renewal authorities and tax increment financing for such authorities including governance changes and changes related to how...more

RLUIPA Round-Up

We bring you more interesting news from the world of land use, religion and government: The Chicago Tribune reports that the Village of La Grange, Illinois Planning Commission is considering a proposed zoning code...more

City's Revenue Transfer From its Wastewater Utility to its General Fund Is Justified

California Appellate Court Holds that Transfer Did Not Violate Proposition 218 - In a challenge to the transfer of revenues from a city’s wastewater utility to its general fund, a California Appellate Court held Tuesday...more

Twelve Communities in Western Mass. on Board for Muni Broadband Project

This country was founded upon communities in New England helping themselves instead of relying on others to fix their problems, said Blair Levin, Gig.U executive director, speaking to us on municipal broadband projects. So...more

DOJ Files Lawsuit Against City of Beaumont, Texas for Alleged FHA Violations

On May 26, the DOJ announced a lawsuit against the city of Beaumont, Texas (Beaumont) for allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the DOJ’s complaint, Beaumont’s...more

Seventh Circuit Remands (Again) World Outreach Conference Center v. City of Chicago

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, religious land use disputes often take a long time to resolve. World Outreach Conference Center v. City of Chicago, Nos. 13-3669, 13-3728 (7th Cir. 2015) is no exception to the...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Santa Monica Ordinance Banning Unattended Displays; Baby, Fanged Jesus Display Would Require a Sitter

While the holiday season is still several months away, nativity scenes are back in the news. What nativity scene discussion would be complete without adorable baby, fanged Jesus? On New Year’s Eve 2014, we reported about...more

RLUIPA Round-UP

Here are some developments that we are following involving religious land use and the intersection of religion and local government. New Life Evangelistic Center, which runs a homeless shelter in downtown St. Louis,...more

Municipal Cable Franchise Transfer Toolkit

A cable operator generally cannot transfer control of its business or transfer its cable franchise without the prior approval of the franchising authority. This gives the franchising authority the opportunity to resolve...more

Looks Like Frack is Back, Governor Abbott Signs House Bill 40

Yesterday, Governor Gregg Abbott signed into law House Bill 40, also known as the Denton Fracking Bill, which leaves municipalities with minimal power to regulate the oil and gas industry. The bill takes effect immediately...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Texas Enacts House Bill 40 To Regulate Oil And Gas At State Level

The Texas Legislature recently passed House Bill 40, which is intended to keep the bulk of oil and gas regulation at the state level—as opposed to myriad standards set by cities, counties, or other political subdivisions. ...more

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