State Legislative Ideology & the Preemption of City Ordinances: The Case of Worker Rights Laws

This article discusses the influence of state legislative ideology on the legislative preemption of local ordinances in the area of workers rights. States define the powers of local governments within their purview and states may use this power to restrict local governments from pursuing certain policies. Using data on state legislative activity and ideology from 1993 to 2016, I find that increasingly conservative state legislatures are more likely to preempt local government policy, all else equal. The results suggest that state legislative ideology may be an important predictor of local autonomy and state-local relations.