Lawmakers want to preserve your choice – paper or plastic?

Several months ago Bexley, Ohio passed a ban on retailers using or sending customer goods home in plastic bags.  For Bexley, its city council believed it made sense.  The ban has not been in place long enough to know how it will live in day-to-day life, but the community has always been liberal and I’m sure its citizens will adjust, just fine.

In response to this move, state lawmakers proposed a state law seeking to curb other cities from following Bexley’s move.  H.B. 625 “[p]rohibits local governments from imposing a tax, fee, assessment, or other charge on auxiliary containers (for example, a plastic or paper bag), the sale, use, or consumption of auxiliary containers, or on the basis of receipts received from the sale of auxiliary containers.”

From a legal standpoint this is going to be an interesting tussle which could potentially land in the Ohio Supreme Court.  Why?  The state legislature is subject to home-rule exceptions, meaning, if the matter is not of state-wide concern, a home rule government is entitled to decide the issue for itself.  So, the proponents of the bill are going to have to argue, your choice of paper or plastic is a matter of state-wide concern.  Not a case I’d want to make.

Here’s the link to the Legislative Service Commission Analysis.

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