Retailers Association sues Austin over bag ban

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by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and Photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 11:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 12:30 PM

AUSTIN – Members of the Texas Retailers Association filed a lawsuit Tuesday in a Travis County Court regarding the City of Austin’s ban on single-use plastic bags which begins March 1.

Ronnie Volkening with the Texas Retailers Association says another attorney stumbled across a 20-year-old Texas Health and Safety code section 261.0961 which says in part that a local government may not adopt an ordinance, rule or regulation to prohibit, restrict the sale or use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law.

“It came to our attention by another attorney researching another issue, and said hey by the way have you seen this section? And we said 'son of a gun, it strikes me that this is four-square on point about  what the City's authority is,'” said Volkening.

The TRA says the organization is not trying to stop the City of Austin’s ban from going into effect Friday, the group says they’re more concerned about the long-term.

A state judge will review the state code and the issue could be bounced to the Court of Appeals and potentially the Texas Supreme Court.

A decision from the judge could come in a couple of months.

 

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