Bag Bill Dies in Committee
This legislative session we were fortunate to have Senator Bullard sponsor a bag ban bill for the second year in a row. Last year, the bill didn't get put on any committee schedules and therefore was never heard publicly. This year, Senator Dean, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Preservation & Conservation Committee, made sure the bill was given a stop in his committee. After being postponed due to scheduling concerns, the bill was finally heard on April 10th. Click here for specifics on the bill.
The bill was subject to rigorous debate with Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club of Florida, Audubon of Florida and the City of Cutlter Bay providing comments in support of the bill. The Florida Retail Federation and Associated Industries of Florida opposed the bill.
Ultimately, although all the Senators that spoke for or against the bill agreed that it was an important issue worth discussing, the Committee could not reach consensus on the ten-cent surcharge on paper bags. In order to build consensus and craft an agreement on the paper bag surcharge, Senator Bullard agreed to temporarily pass (which is essentially postponing) his bill. Unfortunately, because the Legislative Session in coming to a close in a few weeks, this bill will not have time to be amended and make it through the committee process.
Although the bill is not going to pass this year, it has sparked an important debate and will definitely be back next year. For now, please take a moment to thank the sponsor Senator Bullard: (850) 487-5039 firstname.lastname@example.org for his leadership in sponsoring the bill and Senator Dean (850) 487-5005 email@example.com for placing the bill on the agenda.
Lastly, several legislators commented that their offices had been "inundated" with calls, Tweets, and emails asking for them to support SB830. Thank you to all of the Surfrider Foundation, Sea Turtle Conservancy, and Sierra Club members that took time to reach out to their legislators and encourage them to take action. With your support, we'll be back next year to make sure this bill gets passed!