UPDATE: NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill to ban local governments from regulating certain plastic bags and utensils.

The Senate passed the legislation Thursday. The House already approved it, so it next heads to Republican Gov. Bill Lee.

The Republican-led General Assembly is reacting to recent consideration by Memphis and Nashville, the liberal-leaning, most populous cities in the state, of proposals to levy taxes against single-use plastic bags in order to cut down on waste.

Democratic Sen. Raumesh Akbari criticized the GOP majority for trying to override the decision-making of local governments.

Eleven other states - including Idaho, Florida, and Wisconsin - have already enacted similar so-called "bans on bans." 


PREVIOUS STORY: NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee is poised to become the latest state to ban local municipalities from regulating certain plastic bags and utensils.

House lawmakers on Monday advanced a proposal making it illegal for local governments to impose bag bans, restrictions on Styrofoam containers and other disposable products.

The bill is being debated in the GOP-dominant statehouse as Memphis and Nashville - the state's most populous cities that also lean more liberal - have recently considered levying taxes against single-use plastic bags. The plastic bags industry has opposed such taxes, but state lawmakers have been more willing to pre-empt the local governments.

Minority Democratic members opposed the bill, arguing the General Assembly should not bypass local government decisions.

Eleven other states - including Idaho, Florida and Wisconsin - have already enacted similar so-called "bans on bans."

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