Baton Rouge, LA, May 7, 2013 (PBBR) - A bill in the Louisiana legislature that would have placed a five-cents tax on plastic bags was voluntarily deferred by the bill's sponsor yesterday. The bill, HB 529 was being considered in the House Ways and Means Committee.
Speaking before the Committee, Rep. Regina Barrow, who sponsored House Bill 529, stated that she would like to defer the bill. There was no motion to defer the bill; Committee Chair automatically accepted Ms. Barrow's statement. House member Thompson questioned should there be a motion to defer but Chairman Robideax reiterated that a motion was not needed since it was voluntarily deferred.
It was sort of an awkward moment for Ms. Barrow. She couldn't remember the bill number. Ms. Barrow has two bills in the legislature and both were on the agenda to be considered by the House Ways & Means Committee.
In Ms. Barrow's opening statements, she started by naming over 15 states with some type of plastic bag legislation in place. She stated that in each of those states, there were municipalities that had adopted some type of ban on plastic bags. The facts were wrong about several of the states, including Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Indiana and Pennsylvania had bills introduced in past sessions but none have been adopted into law.
As for Florida, in 2009 the Florida legislature forbid local governments from taking action on plastic bags. Pursuant to section 403.7033, Florida Statutes, no state or local retail bag regulations can be enacted until the Florida Legislature takes action.
There has been no action yet in the Florida Legislature. There is a bill introduced and pending this year in the Florida Legislature that, if passed, would regulate disposable plastic bags and recyclable paper bags.
Ms. Barrow further stated that Washington, D.C.'s plastic bag fee has generated some $55 million annually. This is totally wrong. According to a report in CNN Money, after ten months of D.C.'s plastic bag fee, only $1.3 million had been generated.(1)
Ms. Barrow stated that she would again sponsor the bill for a tax on plastic bags, probably next year. Let's hope her staff will provide her with more accurate facts at that time.
Copyright © 2013 Plastic Bag Ban Report. All Rights Reserved.
(1) CNN Money: No paper, no plastic. The tax that works too well.
Cover photo: Louisiana State Capitol Bldg. Author: Bluepoint951 at en.wikipedia. Licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic.