Gov. Mike DeWine said he opposes legislation that would block Cuyahoga County and other local communities from banning single-use plastic bags. DeWine told reporters the legislation would prevent cities from experimenting with regulating plastic bags in an effort to reduce litter and plastic waste in landfills. “I think this would be a mistake. I think the state government should allow local communities to do what they think is best in regard to this area,” DeWine said.
DeWine’s comments come as twin bills banning the local bans have appeared to pick up steam in the state legislature. House Speaker Larry Householder said this week he plans to hold a vote on one bill — which a House committee referred for passage last June — before the end of the year. A companion Senate bill has received multiple hearings since it was introduced in October.
DeWine, a Republican, has the power to veto any legislation passed by state lawmakers. But legislators also potentially could overturn the veto with enough votes. Since taking office in January, DeWine, a Republican, has been selective about opposing leaders of the Republican-controlled state legislature. And in taking his stance on the plastic-bag issue, he’s effectively picking one constituency — local government groups that favor letting cities decide what to do about plastic bags — over another — business groups who say the local bans make it harder for grocers and other businesses to operate.