The House Approves Commerce Uniformity Bill

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 242, also known as the “Commerce Uniformity” bill, during full session. HB 242, sponsored by Rep. Don Jones (Freeport) and Rep. George Lang (West Chester), protects consumers and businesses by prohibiting local governments from imposing a tax, fee or ban on disposable plastic bags and other containers. During the last General Assembly, the House passed HB 625 with similar language.

When everyday products like paper cups, grocery bags, to-go containers and soft-drink bottles are taxed and regulated inconsistently within a state, it creates costly problems for businesses, manufacturers and working families. Businesses that operate statewide and purchase large quantities of products depend on regulatory consistency to achieve economies of scale, which translate into consumer savings. State-level uniformity for auxiliary container regulations will the limit the chaos of a regulatory patchwork. Adopting HB 242 is a way to protect against over-regulation, support manufacturing jobs and uphold consumer freedom.

Due to the potential effect that this bill could have on Ohio’s business climate, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce designated HB 242 as a key vote which will be updated in our Free Enterprise Index.

As HB 242 and its companion bill, SB 222, make their way through the House, we will continue to lend our support.