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Senate Votes To Bag Local Ordinances On Plastic Bags

May 17, 2016

Legislation that would bar local units of government from banning or imposing a fee on plastic bags used by retailers passed the Senate today.

Sen. Jim STAMAS (R-Midland), sponsor of SB 0853, repeated arguments business groups have made in favor of the pre-emption that it’s just good business sense to have a uniform policy across the state (See “Is It Time Locals Are Banned From Banning Plastic Bags,” 04/27/2016). 

During consideration of the bill, Democrats offered up three amendments. The first offered by Sen. Curtis HERTEL, Jr., (D-Meridian Twp.), would allow a local unit of government to adopt a fee or a ban on plastic bags if local voters approved by vote such a policy. 

“We don’t need a one-size state solution to every problem,” Hertel argued. “If the people decide to have their own rules when it comes to plastic bags we shouldn’t have a statewide local ban.” 

Hertel’s amendment was rejected. Also rejected was an amendment offered by Sen. Rebekah WARREN (D-Ann Arbor) that would have allowed local units of government through 2018 to adopt a local policy before the state ban went into effect. Also rejected was a Warren amendment that would require retailers utilizing plastic bags or carry out containers to accept their return. 

The Senate passed the bill, 25-12. Sens. Ken HORN (R-Frankenmuth), Rick JONES (R-Grand Ledge) and Tory ROCCA (R-Sterling Heights) voted against the bill with the majority of Democrats. Sen. David KNEZEK (D-Dearborn Heights) voted yes with the majority of Republicans. 

RTF Tax Protection Bill Clears Senate 

Legislation that would restrict funding for a regional transit authority to two mills and prevent it from being captured by a tax increment finance authority (TIFA) for purposes other than providing regional transit passed the Senate, 32-5. 

Sen. Wayne SCHMIDT (R-Traverse City) is the sponsor of SB 0739.

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