Republicans' latest power grab: Stripping authority from Democratic mayors
Ron DeSantis of Florida speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore

Republican state legislatures have found a new way to grab power by limiting the authorities of Democrats who are elected as mayors in major cities.

Politico reports Republicans in Arizona, Florida, and Texas have started limiting the power of mayors to implement mask mandates in their cities during the novel coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 Americans.

Arizona State Rep. Joseph Chaplik tells Politico that GOP legislators need to step in to hold "rogue city leaders" accountable if they try to enforce public safety measures to protect people from a deadly disease.

"Next year, if a liberal town... imposes a mask mandate again on businesses throughout the community because of a bad flu virus or the sniffles, everybody would have to abide," he claimed. "If we're going to give up our freedom and liberties for temporary safety, we're going to have neither safety nor freedom."

And now Republicans are moving beyond preempting just mask mandates in cities, as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week signed legislation that would make it harder for cities to adopt renewable energy sources.

"It's like there's a competition out there for Florida to be the worst of the worst on these awful preemption laws," Brooke Errett, an organizer for Food and Water Watch Florida, tells Politico.