State and Local Government

News & Analysis as of

Drone Rules Raise Preemption Questions

The Federal Aviation Administration's recently announced rules for commercial operation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS or drones), set to take effect later this month, provide long-awaited guidance to drone operators...more

Texas SWDA Preempts Plastic Bags-Related Ordinance

On August 17, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeals sitting in San Antonio held, in a 2 to 1 decision, that a City of Plastic bagsLaredo ordinance prohibiting the distribution of “single use” plastic bags at check-out...more

Federal Court Decision Warns Delaware: Be Prepared to Defend Audit Practices in Court

The United States District Court for the District of Delaware dismissed a lawsuit against the Delaware State Escheator, Abandoned Property Audit Manager, and the Secretary of Finance, and Kelmar Associates, LLC, but it came...more

Drone on Drones: NLC Releases “Cities and Drones” Report and Draft Ordinance

The National League of Cities released a municipal guide designed to serve as a primer on drones for local officials. Published this week, Cities and Drones provides insight into the FAA’s recently released rules on drone...more

PA to Research Paid Family Leave

In this hotly-contested election season, one of the many issues on the minds of voters is paid family leave. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), only 12% of private sector employees receive paid family leave...more

Louisiana Flooding – Legal Update

The Liskow & Lewis family stands by our friends and neighbors throughout the unprecedented flooding in our community. As we begin the long process of recovery, here is a brief legal update on the response of various courts...more

Worth Another Look: Aging Issues

In January of 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a list of the top ten issues that will be before state legislatures across the nation this year. Since Pennsylvania will close out the...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2016

Court of Appeal Holds EIR Inadequately Analyzed Energy Impacts - Ukiah Citizens for Safety First v. City of Ukiah et al. (248 Cal.App.4th 256) (partially published) - Why It Matters: The California Court of Appeal...more

Rhode Island Implements Statewide Standards for Wetlands

Recently, Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law legislation to establish statewide standards to bolster protections for wetlands while streamlining the permitting process during development. Before the new legislation, each...more

New Jersey FERC license surrender and dam removal

U.S. energy regulators have accepted an application to surrender the licensee for a New Jersey hydropower project. Earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted Great Bear Hydropower Inc.'s...more

Appeals Court Says “No” to Sports Betting in New Jersey

The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling denying New Jersey’s efforts to legalize sports betting in the State. The ongoing league battle has pitted several professional sports associations against the...more

Can “Big Brother” Bring Big Improvements to Provision of Local Government Services?

Public agencies can enhance municipal services and promote innovation through the transparent collection and analysis of “Big Data.” The data compiled from data collection technologies currently deployed in cities, such as...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: April 28, June 23, June 30 and July 22, 2016

The Virginia Supreme Court issued a number of opinions this Spring and Summer in recent terms. Its work resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local (and state) government law, in the areas of Virginia...more

Implications of the Ninth Circuit’s Recent “Culvert Case” for Government and Private Entities Responsible for Conditions that...

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (“Ninth Circuit”) recently affirmed an injunction issued by the District Court for Western District of Washington ordering the State of Washington to repair or replace thousands of State...more

Holland & Knight SCAG Update Report: CEQA Litigation Abuse Hurts Infill Housing

Following up on their 2015 report covering all CEQA lawsuits filed during the 2010-2012 period, Holland & Knight lawyers Jennifer Hernandez, David Friedman and Stephanie DeHerrera recently released a portion of the sequel –...more

Settlement Reached in Temple-Inland; Delaware Internally Reviewing Unclaimed Property Audit Practices

The court case challenging Delaware’s unclaimed property audit methodologies has settled following an opinion brutalizing Delaware’s position. This settlement leaves the US District Court for the District of Delaware...more

The Concept Of Independent Contractor Is Under Assault— Especially In California

The traditional working classification of independent contractor, as we have known it, may soon go the way of the dinosaur, the horseless carriage, and the telegraph. Although perhaps your gardener, pool man or family...more

Massachusetts State Legislature Takes Action on Major Employment Reform as Legislative Session Ends

In the final weeks before the end of the legislative session, the Massachusetts House and State both addressed major pieces of labor and employment legislation. However, although the legislature passed S.2119, an Act to...more

Paid Sick Leave

While the trend toward state and local governments offering paid sick time may keep workplaces healthier and give workers reason to be glad, it presents new challenges for the business owners, managers and HR professionals...more

A New Landscape - Compliance clarifications and planning opportunities for governmental and tax-exempt employers sponsoring...

On June 22, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published its long-awaited proposed regulations (the Proposed Regulations) under Section 457(f) of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). Section 457(f) governs the taxation...more

New York Unveils Details of its Clean Energy Program

The New York Department of Public Service (DPS or Commission) on August 1, 2016 issued its long-awaited Clean Energy Standard order (“Order”). The Order sets forth the means by which the Empire State intends to achieve its...more

2015-2016 Massachusetts Legislative Session Ends

After a mad scramble to take action before their midnight deadline, Massachusetts lawmakers closed the 20152016 legislative session by passing five of the “Big Six” bills on their agenda. Beacon Hill saw a flurry of activity...more

Supreme Court of Missouri Holds Veto Session Was Too Late for Senate to Take Action

This case involves an issue of first impression. The disagreement centered around the legislative intent of Article III, Section 32 of the Missouri Constitution: that is, whether all vetoed bills may be reconsidered during a...more

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Compromise Energy Bill

Last Sunday, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a compromise energy bill to significantly increase electricity produced by renewable energy sources. The state’s utilities will be required to purchase power from on and...more

Enacting and Enforcing Local Ordinances to Prohibit Medical Marijuana Dispensaries – Up in Smoke?

California’s cities and counties have a long and growing track record successfully defending challenges to their land use authority filed on behalf of medical marijuana dispensaries. These successes are largely a product of...more

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