January 18, 2017
State lawmakers who claim to champion the cherished principle of local control should be held accountable if their actions fail to match their words. Another example of this conflict resurfaced this month among those seeking to prevent Texas cities from banning sale of single-use plastic bags that regularly litter neighborhoods as well as vacant fields where they become caught on brush. Forces eager to neuter cities in this matter now hope the Texas Supreme Court can do their dirty work — and that of the plastic-bag industry.
While the Waco City Council did not act on a local push in 2015 to follow Austin’s lead in banning plastic bags at checkout counters, it’s certainly a decision that should be left to those council members who live in the communities that elect them — not state legislators who frequently represent large districts and may not even hold town hall meetings for constituents to air their concerns.