Conor Dougherty, a Bay Area-based New York Times economics reporter, and Brad Plumer, a Times climate reporter, team-up to tackle the controversy surrounding SB 827 that has hit a raw nerve with groups that purport to support the bill's goals.
While the city determines where to place parking meters and how much to charge, when it comes to charging tolls to drive in Manhattan, the city's elected leaders are excluded from the political process.
The Texas Legislature and executive branch is continuing to wage a battle against local control, this time pursuing a land use law that would undermine zoning code changes, such as the current CodeNEXT process in Austin.
Palo Alto has become so expensive, plots of land with derelict houses sell for millions of dollars. Mathew Yglesias argues allowing small municipalities to make their own zoning laws is partly to blame.
A bill under consideration in the Texas House of Representatives would tie the hands of preservationists, making it much easier for building owners to demolish or alter buildings without regard to historic significance.
The Oklahoma State Legislature is well on its way to passing Senate Bill 809, which would limit local power to regulate oil and gas drilling. In Texas, Senate Bill 343 would end "home rule" on many issues, fracking included.
Both houses of the Michigan Legislature have passed bills expanding the governor's right to declare a "financial emergency" and appoint managers to run cities, towns and school districts with little local oversight.