On Wednesday, HB 242 passed the full Senate floor by a 23-9 vote. During the Senate committee process, HB 242 picked up an amendment to sunset its provisions in 12 months.
When this bill was voted on in the House, the Ohio Chamber designated this policy priority as a “key vote.” However, after the Senate added the sunset amendment, it was decided that the commerce uniformity bill no longer warranted a key vote status.
During the Senate floor debate, several legislators pointed out that passing HB 242 was particularly important during the time of the coronavirus pandemic. Senator Rulli, the author of HB 242’s companion bill, expressed that not passing the bill is a “public safety issue” and that reusable canvas bags that are never washed are more likely to spread COVID-19 compared to single-use plastic bags. Many stores in Ohio and across the nation have already prohibited the use of reusable bags due to their potential of carrying the virus.
Due to the newly added amendment, HB 242 will need to head back to the House for concurrence, and then it will be ready to be signed by the governor.