Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.
These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.
Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.
About the bill
An effort to stop local municipalities from banning the use of plastic shopping bags was the subject of one of the weekly Bill Tracker columns.
That bill, House Bill 1071, cleared both the House and Senate in June but was the subject of Gov. Tom Wolf’s first veto of 2017 later that month.
House Bill 1071, introduced by Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks County, is not the only bill introduced in the Legislature to address the issue of the use and disposal of plastic shopping bags.
Rep. Michael Hanna, D-Centre County, has introduced a bill that takes a different approach to dealing with problems associated with plastic bags.
“When confronted with reports of plastic bag pollution in this country, a few states and cities responded with bans, taxes and fees in an attempt to discourage the use and production of these bags,” Hanna wrote in a co-sponsorship letter. “Unfortunately, these policies ended up costing low-income families more, hurting retail businesses and quelling the efforts of companies in the waste industry that have been providing exceptional plastic bag recycling programs across the country.”
Hanna’s bill, House Bill 1330, would establish a plastic bag recycling advisory board tasked with creating cooperation and communication among government, consumers and the retail industry aimed increasing participation in plastic bag recycling programs.
The goal of the bill is to reduce plastic bag pollution.
The eight-member advisory board would be made up of the secretary of Agriculture or a designee, the secretary of Environmental Protection or a designee, as well as representatives from the Pennsylvania Retailers’ Association, the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association, the Pennsylvania Independent Waste Haulers Association, plastic bag manufactures and environmental organizations.
Farry is a co-sponsor on this bill.