Bagging Home Rule


February 25, 2016 7:50 AM



The IBJ reports on a measure approved by the Indiana Senate that would prevent local government units from taxing or restricting the use of disposable plastic bags by retailers, including grocery stores.

Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, said businesses, industry groups and many consumers oppose regulation of bag use.

Many consumers are also citizens who believe the cities they live in should have the right to determine their own policies–on plastic bags, on public transportation, and on the myriad other issues pre-empted by state legislators who believe that they know better than local officials what rules Indiana residents should follow, and what programs and/or initiatives those residents should be allowed to implement.

Whatever your opinion about plastic bags or public transportation, the high-handedness of our statehouse overlords on those and other issues ought to infuriate you.

It is particularly offensive that decisions affecting residents of urban areas are routinely made by representatives of suburban and especially rural populations, whose grasp of the challenges and realities faced by elected officials in metropolitan areas is limited, at best, and whose hostility to the needs of Indianapolis and Central Indiana is a perennial statehouse reality.

This disinclination to allow Indianapolis to govern itself, to make decisions about its own affairs, is particularly galling because the city is the economic driver of the state.

Talk about your “makers” and “takers”!

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  • IndyJEF

    I suspect you have had no comments (until this one) because your article says it all. I’m hoping Indiana voters someday wake up and realize that their so-called and self described state-level “purveyors of small and limited government” want to dictate just about everything including how to deal with plastic bags. I suggest Brent Steele and his buddies find time to put one of those little bags over each of their heads and breathe deeply.

  • Lance Lake

    It’s probably only a coincidence – since the Supreme Court says we can’t restrict gay marriage, and our collective nose was bloodied in the national press by RFRA – that the obvious hasn’t happened. By that I mean – “We’re going to stop this car if you immature cities don’t stop respecting minorities and passing those annoying civil rights statutes”. If we take our foot off the pedal even a smidge, our “betters” will surely take a stab at this as well.