House votes down ‘ban on bans’


PIERRE – The effort to keep municipalities from banning plastic bags was voted down in the House Thursday afternoon. 

SB54 would keep cities from restricting the use of plastic auxiliary containers, beverage containers, garbage bags, straws used for beverage consumption or plastic packaging materials. It was referred to jokingly at times in the Legislature as a “ban on bans.”

The bill was earlier endorsed by the Senate on a vote of 22-12.

Rep. Thomas Brunner, R-Nisland, said the more he looked at the bill, the more he liked it since it didn’t restrict the way businesses operate.

“It allows businesses to serve their customers,” Brunner said. “We don’t need to be getting in the way of serving their customers.”

“This is a bill about local control,” said Rep. Kelly Sullivan, D-Sioux Falls, asking that cities be allowed to make their own decisions about what to ban. 

Some city governments in South Dakota have discussed a ban on plastics, but none of them have enacted one. 

“This doesn’t strike me as a crisis in South Dakota,” said Rep. Scyller Borglum, R-Rapid City. 

The bill was defeated in the House on a vote of 30-33, with seven lawmakers excused. Rep. Doug Post, R-Volga, gave notice of intent to reconsider, which means the bill may come back before the House on Tuesday.

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