• “Rest easy, humans of New York City, for your overlords in the Legislature in Albany have voted to protect you from your own City Council and mayor and that irritating thing you call “democracy.” They have taken steps to keep the city safe for plastic shopping bags…Can Albany do that? Yes, but not without abusing its power by upending the principle that citizens, through their elected representatives in local government, should be able to decide for themselves issues that affect only their communities.” — The Editorial Board, The New York Times, Albany Smothers a Plastic Bags Law,” February 9, 2017.
• In 2013, Mayor Bloomberg wanted to install speed cameras in New York City, but the Legislature turned him down http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/nyregion/bloomberg-expresses-rage-over-failed-plan-for-speed-tracking-cameras.html.
• In 2016, the Mayor of New York City had to ask the State Legislature for continued control over his city’s own school district. The Legislature only gave him a one-year extension. http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2016/06/17/its-a-deal-lawmakers-agree-to-extend-mayoral-control-of-new-york-city-schools-by-one-year/
• Cuomo pulled the plug on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, refusing to amend a state program giving developers generous tax breaks in exchange for creating low-cost housing. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/11/nyregion/cuomo-shuts-door-on-part-of-mayor-de-blasios-affordable-housing-plan.html?_r=0.
• In 1965, the Mayor of New York City, Robert Wagner, introduced his own home rule package authorizing local governments to raise local debt limits and to exercise all legislative and taxing powers not specifically barred to them by law or the courts. His proposal did not become law. https://books.google.com/books/about/Charter_Revision_in_the_Empire_State.html?id=BE8bCtnwYVkC
• In People v. DeJesus, the Court of Appeals ruled that local governments couldn’t control the hours of operation of taverns and bars.
• “In People v. Del Gardo, the New York Court of Appeals invalidated a New York City ordinance banning any toy or imitation handgun which “substantially duplicates” an actual handgun (unless certain requirements were met), because the ordinance did not exempt cap guns, which state law permits the sale and use of “at all times.”” http://smartgunlaws.org/local-authority-to-regulate-firearms-in-new-york/
“Despite being [New York] described as a home rule state, and the protections that the Constitution purports to grant local governments, localities actually have very little immunity from state intervention….Under the current system, local governments are left to guess whether or not the local law they wish to implement is authorized or preempted by the State “occupying the field.”” — NYS Local Government Commission on Efficiency and Competitiveness: Strengthening Home Rule
• “New York’s constitutional and statutory provisions regarding home rule are more extensive than those in many states. At the same time, paradoxically, Albany imposes its will and the cost of its decisions on localities more than most other state governments.” New York State Government, The State-Local Paradox: Home Rule and State Mandates, http://www.rockinst.org/books/ward/New_York_State_Government/chapters/Chapter_Nineteen_The_State_Local_Paradox.pdf
• In the 2010 case Matter of Chwick v Mulvey, the New York State Court of Appeals held that state law implicitly preempted a Nassau County ordinance prohibiting the possession of “deceptively colored” handguns. These colored handguns looked like toys, so Nassau County wanted to ban them. But the court held that the ordinance interfered with the licensing provisions of New York law. Further, the court held that state law demonstrated the legislature’s intent to preempt the field of firearm regulation, so the County couldn’t pass any law on the subject http://smartgunlaws.org/local-authority-to-regulate-firearms-in-new-york/.