Last month, Cincinnati City Council passed an ordnance banning the use of plastic bags by businesses in the city set for January 1 .Ohio state Republicans are responding with a bill that will prevent local governments from doing that, and GOP Gov. Mike DeWine says he'll sign it, because he's a Republican (and somehow people keep forgetting this.)
The Ohio Legislature has passed a controversial bill that bans communities from passing bans on containers like plastic bags or Styrofoam. Gov. DeWine, who once opposed the idea, is signaling he’ll sign this bill into law.
The bill preventing cities from passing bans on plastic bags and single use containers has been revised from its original form. It will only be in place for a year and that’s why DeWine has changed his position on it.
“And I will sign the bill because it is temporary and I think you can make an argument for it because of the COVID period," DeWine says.
DeWine has said he opposed the original idea because he thinks communities should have that control. But he says with so many places offering carry out, now is not the time for such bans.
Business groups, including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants and the Ohio Grocers Association, support the changes. They are opposed by local-government groups and environmental advocates.
Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester and primary sponsor of the legislation, said many businesses have moved to single-use bags and containers as part of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
And he said the bill's changes would ensure more uniformity in business regulations.
“Currently, Ohio has more different taxing jurisdictions than any state in America,” Lang said. “Let that sink in: We have more than New York, more than New Jersey, more than California, more than Illinois.”
Citing about a half-dozen Ohio communities that have worked with businesses to help develop bans on plastic bags, the Ohio Municipal League urged DeWine to veto the legislation.
"This just continues to add to the stack of preemptions the legislature has imposed on local control and home rule," said Kent Scarrett, executive director of the league. "We think it is very disconcerting."
"So this legislation will wipe out years of partnerships that have been developed. It's an overstep by the legislature to interfere in the values of local communities."
Scarrett said that plastic manufacturers have successfully mounted a nationwide campaign to lobby lawmakers in many states to forbid environmentally friendly local regulation of single-use plastics.
The former Ohio Speaker of the House is under a bribery and racketeering scandal and people really think Ohio Republicans aren't going to just turn around and make this ban permanent because P&G and other corporate business lobbyists are going to play fair?
Yeah, right. I'll take that oceanfront property in Dayton too.