NFIB Tells Committee to Stop Local Plastic Bag Bans

Date: September 21, 2016 Last Edit: September 22, 2016

Related Content: News State Michigan Regulations

Lansing, MI (September 13, 2016): The state’s leading small
business organization, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB),
told the House Commerce and Trade Committee today that local governments should
be prohibited from attempts to regulate or ban plastic bags.

“Small businesses are already
overwhelmed with state and federal regulatory requirements as well as already
existing local rules,” said NFIB State Director Charlie Owens. “Heaping yet another recordkeeping and compliance
burden on them is not a wise economic development policy for local governments
or the state.”

Owens’ testimony was in response to efforts by some cities
and local governments in Michigan to pass a local ordinance that would ban or
regulate plastic bags, cups or other disposable packaging and containers within
their jurisdiction. Both Washtenaw and Muskegon counties are looking at
ordinances that would ban stores from giving plastic bags to customers and/or impose
a fee for each plastic or paper bag they distribute. In response, Senator Jim
Stamas has introduced Senate Bill 853 that would prohibit local governments
from passing these kinds of laws. The bill has already passed the Senate.

“While the intentions may be honorable,
placing these requirements on citizens and businesses in a local area just
encourages job providers to locate elsewhere or move out of that area when they
have the opportunity,” said Owens. “Often these kind of local efforts begin
with a lofty goal and end with a fee and regulation scheme that becomes just
another way for local governments to tax residents and businesses and provide
government jobs for those who would enforce the ordinance.”

Owens also testified that this local
approach to regulation that varies from one local jurisdiction to the next
creates an inefficient patchwork quilt of rules that is especially confusing to
small business. Owens urged the House Commerce Committee to support the Senate

UPDATE: Senate Bill 853 has been reported from the House Commerce and Trade Committee and is now on the House floor awaiting further action.

Read more about NFIB efforts to curb local regulations HERE

Related Content: News | State | Michigan | Regulations

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