Preemption, Public Health and Health Equity: A Proposed Framework and Research Agenda

Concurrent Sessions 1: 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm, Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Some states are increasingly using preemption to thwart local policies that may improve public health and reduce inequities. Nevertheless, preemption is not inherently adversarial to public health, equity, or good governance, but rather reflects its wielder’s goals and values. This session will highlight recent trends in preemption, including those related to COVID-19, and will explore an equity-first framework for facilitating case-by-case assessments of whether preemption will worsen inequities or whether it’s an appropriate response to address inequities.


  • Francesca Weaks, DrPh, MS, MCHES, State Campaign Consultant, Local Solutions Support Center


  • Derek Carr, JD, Senior Attorney, ChangeLab Solutions
  • Jennifer Karas Montez, PhD, Professor, Syracuse University
  • Benjamin Winig, JD, MPHA, Founder & Principal, ThinkForward Strategies