St. Louis is in the middle of a dust-up with state legislators over abortion.
The city’s burghers recently passed an ordinance providing discrimination protection for women who have had an abortion, are pregnant or have used contraception.
Republicans in Jefferson City are aghast. They’ve accused St. Louis of creating a “sanctuary city” for abortion.
And, of course, they have the answer: a state law that would take the decision out of the city’s hands.
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“No municipality shall have the power or authority to declare or establish itself as a sanctuary for abortions,” House Bill 989 says.
The St. Louis ordinance may or may not be a good idea. But ask yourself this: Why do state lawmakers always think they’re the smartest politicians in the room?
In Missouri, the state controls local taxes. Adult entertainment. Kansas City can’t enact its own minimum wage. Pesticides? Fire sprinklers? Firearms? Nope.
Last year, the Kansas Legislature prohibited local governments from intervening in real estate prices, work schedules or food labeling. The state pre-empts local marijuana laws. Iowa is thinking about telling its cities to stop raising wages.
Yet state legislators complain bitterly about federal requirements and mandates.
We’re often told that the government closest to the people works best.
Lawmakers in Missouri and Kansas should tack that maxim to their walls.