State legislators call federal preemption a growing problem.The federal government is extending its ability to usurp u·surp
v. u·surped, u·surp·ing, u·surps
1. To seize and hold (the power or rights of another, for example) by force and without legal authority. See Synonyms at appropriate.
2. state law in a wide array of areas, and this extension is driven by special interests seeking to impose their will on public policy. That's the feeling among state government leaders, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the National Conference of State Legislatures
The abbreviation NCSL redirects here. For the British educational institution see National College for School Leadership.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL NCSL National Conference of State Legislatures
NCSL National College for School Leadership
NCSL National Conference of Standards Laboratories
NCSL National Council of State Legislators
NCSL National Computer Systems Laboratory (NIST) ), a nonpartisan organization that provides research and advocacy for states, commonwealths, and territories.
At a recent press conference held during its three-day Spring Forum in Washington, D.C., NCSL representatives spoke of state governments' frustration with federal preemption preemption
U.S. policy that allowed the first settlers, or squatters, on public land to buy the land they had improved. Since improved land, coveted by speculators, was often priced too high for squatters to buy at auction, temporary preemptive laws allowed them to acquire .
"Unwarranted power grabs by the federal government subvert the federal system, choke off innovation, and ignore diversity among states," said Georgia Sen. Don Balfour, chair of the NCSL's standing committees.
In the introduction to its most recent edition of the Preemption Monitor, a report published by the NCSL's Law and Criminal Justice Committee, the NCSL said, "Pressure is mounting for Congress and the White House to support federal usurpation Usurpation
presumptuously assumed David’s throne before Solomon’s investiture. [O.T.: I Kings 1:5–10]
takeover of Austria (1938). [Eur. Hist. of state authority in a variety of areas such as immigration reform Immigration reform is the common term used in political discussions regarding changes to immigration policy. In a certain sense, reform can be general enough to include promoted, expanded, or open immigration, but in reality discussions of reform often deal with the aspect of , criminal law, tort reform, driver's license Noun 1. driver's license - a license authorizing the bearer to drive a motor vehicle
driver's licence, driving licence, driving license
license, permit, licence - a legal document giving official permission to do something
security, and the environment." The Monitor tracks 72 bills that have put state laws under greater federal consideration or control.
"That number  represents a 35 percent increase just since January," said Balfour.
David Balboni, a New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of state senator who serves on the NCSL's executive committee, compared preemption to the imposition of unfunded mandates. "It's more abstract, but it's just as egregious," Balboni said.
Of particular concern, he said, is federal regulatory preemption, which allows "faceless bureaucrats--unelected and, frankly, unaccountable--to wipe out 50 states' laws with the stroke of a pen."
Balboni said this overturning of state regulations is dangerous for consumers, and it imposes extra costs on states to enforce the new regulations. For instance, he pointed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's recent ruling on roof crush standards. "It preempts all state products liability laws and will negate state tort laws designed to protect consumers," he said. "And it will cost states $60 million. So the auto industry gets immunity, and the states get to pay."
Among the bills tracked in the Preemption Monitor:
* H.R. 4698, the "Disaster Relief Volunteer Protection Act of 2006," which preempts so-called Good Samaritan laws Good Samaritan laws Forensic medicine Legislation tailored to each jurisdiction, for health care professionals and citizens who provide emergency medical care in 'good faith', and act to help a person needing medical attention. See Herd mentality. by giving nonprofit and government organizations greater immunity, including for "acts or omissions of gross negligence An indifference to, and a blatant violation of, a legal duty with respect to the rights of others.
Gross negligence is a conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or "
* H.R. 4471, the "Responsible Lending Act," which supersedes any state law that attempts to regulate mortgage lending activities
* H.R. 3509, the "Workplace Goods Job Growth and Competitiveness Act of 2005," which limits when and under what conditions a civil action may be filed against the manufacturer of a "durable good" that caused an accident or injury
* CPSC CPSC Consumer Product Safety Commission (US)
CPSC Computer Science (course)
CPSC Canadian Plastics Sector Council (Ottawa, ON, Canada)
CPSC Chemical Processing Safety Committee Mattress Flammability Rule, a new set of standards adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which explicitly preempts "conflicting state laws and common law practice."
"These rules negate state standards that might actually be higher than the federal ones," Balboni said. "They negate our ability to protect our own citizens." He added that NCSL's goal is not to deny all federal authority but to create a "strong state-federal partnership."
NCSL President-Elect Leticia Van de Putte, a Texas senator, said, "The federal system of government was designed so that each state could address the needs of its own people. These blanket solutions to multifaceted problems just don't work."
Balboni said the NCSL has been monitoring this issue for several years and has repeatedly made its concerns known to Congress.
"They get it," he said, "but it is hard to get people excited, because it's gradual. It's like beach erosion. You don't really think about it, and then one day you wake up and say, 'The beach is gone!' It's incremental."
Balboni said the problem is also a constitutional issue, while acknowledging that the subject is rather dry and bureaucratic, akin to "watching paint dry." But, he added, "the cost is very real, and the impact is very real."
The Preemption Monitor is available at www.ncsl.org/print/standcomm/sclaw /060406Preemption.pdf.