The Orlando Sentinel is reporting today that the Crist Administration is contemplating legislation that would make the sunshine state the first in the country to ban plastic and paper bags.
The proposal comes from the state's Department of Environmental Protection. According to the Sentinel, the proposal:
targets the disposable bags provided by a wide variety of businesses, from supermarkets to fast-food restaurants, convenience stores to dry cleaners.
Items exempt from the proposed ban would include bags for produce and sub sandwiches carryout containers, tissue, bubble plastic used to cushion delicate items, and newspaper bags.
Two years ago, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors banned the use of plastic bags. That came after two years of debate, so environmentalists shouldn't start cheering just yet. But then again, they might. The Governor was noted as one of the strongest Republican Governors in the country when it came to the environment, but suddenly has reversed course as Marco Rubio has been coming strong at him from his right flank.
The Rubio campaign doesn't think much of the idea. In a statement, spokesman Alex Burgos said,"Floridians are taxed enough already without having to worry about the new grocery bag taxes proposed by the Crist Administration. At a time when Floridas families are already squeezed by high unemployment and new Crist taxes and fees, the last thing they need is another tax. Governor Crist should resist the temptation to once again break his no tax promise and bag this tax before it hits checkout lanes everywhere.