Lots of bills, both good and bad, are moving through committees as we move into the final weeks of the 2019 legislative session. Here’s what you need to know!

GOOD NEWS:

SB 588, Preemption of Local Regulations, (Sen. Hutson)- This bill was amended in the Senate Community Affairs Committee on Wednesday. The amendment removed the plastic straw preemption language and modified the preemption on local sunscreen ordinances. Instead of permanently banning local sunscreen ordinances, the bill implements a temporary moratorium while the state conducts a study on the impacts of sunscreen to coral reefs. These are major improvements! The bill now heads to the Rules Committee before it goes to the Senate Floor for a final vote.

BAD NEWS:

HB 1299, Governmental Powers, (Rep. Roach)- This bill preempts a number of local issues, including local straw ordinances and sunscreen ordinances. The bill is retroactive, so cities that have passed ordinances will lose them. It will also prohibit any cities from passing ordinances in the future. Unfortunately, this bad bill passed its second committee stop in House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday. The bill is now headed to the Commerce Committee for its final stop before heading to the House floor. Please take a moment to contact the committee members and ask them to vote NO on HB 1299.

SB 1140, Attorney Fees and Costs, (Sen. Hutson)- This bill provides a mandatory award of attorney fees, costs, and damages against a local government in a civil action, if the government’s ordinance is determined to have been preempted by the state. The bill is retroactive and could deter local governments from passing local ordinances out of fear of these punitive sanctions. This bill passed the Senate Community Affairs Committee last week and is now headed to the Senate Rules Committee. Please take a moment to contact the committee members and ask them to vote NO on SB 1140.