Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc. says that it intends to pursue the legalized use of SHBB in states where Home Rule authority exists. That is, where municipalities are permitted by their state constitution to set their own laws to govern themselves as they see fit as long as they obey the state and federal constitutions. Many states modify Home Rule with Dillon’s Rule. Below is the Wikipedia entry that explains Home Rule, Dillon’s Rule, and includes a state-by-state chart.
We believe that Home Rule is becoming an important tool in the spread of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, especially after the 2021 defeat in Florida. Even before then,Ocala installed a box under Home Rule standards.
On May 18, 2021, Safe Haven Baby Boxes announced that it has joined with LifeFunder, an evangelical anti-abortion crowdsource fundraiser to mount a campaign (now expired) to raise money to place boxes in:
- New York
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
These states are limited or full Home Rule states. Pennsylvania has a SHBB law on the books, but no boxes have been installed. Michigan passed a SHBB law in 2018, but it was vetoed by the governor. New York allows all New York-born adoptees to obtain their Original Birth Certificates without restriction.
Home Rule in the United States (from Wikipedia)
In the United States, home rule refers to the authority of a constituent part of a U.S. state to exercise powers of governance delegated to it by its state government. In some states, known as home rule states, the state’s constitution grants municipalities and/or counties the ability to pass laws to govern themselves as they see fit (so long as they obey the state and federal constitutions). In other states, only limited authority has been granted to local governments by passage of statutes in the state legislature. In these states, a city or county must obtain permission from the state legislature if it wishes to pass a law or ordinance which is not specifically permitted under existing state legislation.
Forty of the fifty states apply some form of the principle known as Dillon’s Rule, which says that local governments may only exercise powers that the state expressly grants to them, to determine the bounds of a municipal government’s legal authority. The National League of Cities identifies 31 Dillon’s Rule states, 10 home rule states, 8 states that apply Dillon’s Rule only to certain municipalities, and one state (Florida) that applies home rule to everything except taxation. Each state defines for itself what powers it will grant to local governments. Within the local sphere, there are four categories in which the state allows discretionary authority:
- Structural – power to choose the form of government, charter and enact charter revisions,
- Functional – power to exercise local self government in a broad or limited manner,
- Fiscal – authority to determine revenue sources, set tax rates, borrow funds and other related financial activities,
- Personnel – authority to set employment rules, remuneration rates, employment conditions and collective bargaining.
|State||Home Rule State?||Dillon’s Rule State?|
Source: Home rule in the United States, Wikipedia