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Tennessee bill to stop local plastic bag bans heads to governor

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Posted at 10:38 AM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 11:38:38-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are sending Republican Gov. Bill Lee a bill that would ban local governments from regulating certain plastic bags and utensils.

The Senate passed the legislation in a 23-7 vote Thursday. The House already approved it, so it next heads to the governor.

The Republican-led General Assembly is reacting to recent consideration by Memphis and Nashville, the liberal-leaning, most populous cities in the state, of proposals to levy taxes against single-use plastic bags.

Democratic Sen. Raumesh Akbari criticized the GOP majority for trying to override the decision-making of local governments.

Republican bill sponsor Sen. Mike Bell said the state already pre-empts cities and counties in various policy areas.

Eleven other states -- including Idaho, Florida and Wisconsin -- have already enacted similar so-called "bans on bans."