PHOENIX — Tempe City Councilwoman Lauren Kuby filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona on Wednesday, arguing the state does not have the right to block a plastic bag ban on individual cities.
According to a recent press release, the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest filed the lawsuit on Kuby’s behalf to challenge Arizona Senate Bill 1241, a bill that prevents cities and towns from banning plastic grocery bags or disposable containers.
Kuby has filed the lawsuit in her individual capacity, not as a council member.
In spring 2015, Kuby gained approval from the council to move forward with consideration of a plastic bag ordinance in Tempe. If passed, the ordinance would allow city grocers and retailers to charge a minimum of 10 cents per paper bag distributed.
The ordinance was shelved after SB 1241 was signed into law by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in April 2015.
Kuby said the statewide bag ban violates the Arizona constitution and takes away local control from city government.
“Local control is a long-held value in Arizona and this ban on plastic bag bans hurts the ability of cities and towns to make thoughtful choices that best represent the values and ideals of their residents,” she said in a recent press release. “Shouldn’t cities be able to manage waste without the state stepping in to override local decision-making?”
The lawsuit stated the bill violated the Arizona constitution in three ways: By combining multiple subjects into one bill, violating a state requirement that requires a bill’s subject to be expressed in the title and violating a provision which prohibits state Legislature from ruling on city matters.
Kuby said she hopes the lawsuit will force the states to give back control to the cities.
“Cities should be left alone to do what they do best: Discover the most efficient and thrifty solutions to pressing local challenges, like waste,” she said in the press release.
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