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State Lawmaker Is Attempting to Prohibit Plastic Bag Bans

a photo of Plastic Bags
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Lang said the ban will target the taxing behind these bans

Cuyahoga County and Columbus voted to prohibit plastic bags at retailers, with fees or fines for those that violate the bans. A state lawmaker wants to outlaw the bans by targeting those fees.

Republican Rep. George Lang says this isn’t about the environment, but it's about the many taxing jurisdictions in Ohio.

“We are just stopping the ability to tax,” he said.

Lang says banning bans and their fees ensures what he calls “commerce uniformity for auxiliary containers,” so retailers, restaurants and manufacturers know what to expect statewide. And he says it will stop the flow of people who have moved out or left Ohio.

“The data is so empirical that we are getting our asses kicked by other pro-business friendly states. We’re the fifth-most left state in the nation,” he said.

Lang says he has two legal opinions that say banning local bans is not a violation of home rule, so he thinks if it passes it will be upheld as constitutional.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.