Connect with us
Plastic straws: The latest battleground for home rule defenders.

Headlines

Bill blocking local bans on plastic straws and sunscreen passes House

“Sometimes we need to step in, particularly when local government is putting our citizens at risk.”

A measure which would block local governments from banning sunscreen and single-use plastic straws was approved Monday morning with a 71-40 vote in the Florida House.

The bill (HB 1299) was put forward by Rep. Spencer Roach and faced opposition from several members over concerns about pre-emption.

“I think we’re trying to take too much power from local government,” said Rep. Joe Geller, who voted against the bill.

“I think this bill interferes with Home Rule too much.”

Still, the bill’s supporters argue that local governments aren’t assessing the problems with these bans correctly.

On plastic straws, disability advocate Olivia Babis testified during committee hearings saying a ban can hurt vulnerable citizens.

“I don’t think pre-emption should be abused by the state,” Babis said

“But when we have vulnerable population whose health and safety is being put at risk, then that is a point when the state does need to intervene on behalf of that community.”

And on sunscreen, Rep. Ralph Massullo cited studies which show the benefits of sunscreen outweigh concerns about damage to coral reefs, which appears to be as yet unproven.

“Sunscreens save lives. They protect people,” Massullo said.

“Sometimes we need to step in, particularly when local government is putting our citizens at risk.”

In closing, Roach argued that the state is still free to ban single-use plastic straws or sunscreen, but that he’s pushing for uniformity.

“This is not a referendum on whether the state should regulate plastics, how the state should regulate cosmetics,” Roach said.

“What this is a referendum on is whether we need a uniform regulatory framework in the state of Florida which will serve to attract and protect capital in the state of Florida. That’s what this bill is about.”

A companion bill in the Senate (SB 588) has not received a vote.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.