Preserving Local Control of Public Health Policies – Critical for Strong Public Health Policies

February 14, 2023

Many important public health policies are often developed and passed at the local level. Communities are also able to advance health equity when they can pass specific public health policies aimed at addressing local health disparities. But preemption—when a higher level of government revokes local authority[i]—can restrict local policymakers’ ability to pass, implement, and enforce innovative and proactive public health policies. States should be able to set a minimum standard for public health protections, but they should not pre-empt local governments from going above and beyond that minimum standard.


[i] National Policy & Legal Analysis Network (NPLAN) & Public Health Law Center, The Consequences of Preemption for Public Health Advocacy (2010), available at