For those who may not be familiar, SB 103 prohibits local governments from passing any legislation or ordinances pertaining to assessment of fees, taxes or penalties for the provision of bags or other containers by a business to a customer at the point of sale. The prohibition stipulated in SB 103 includes plastic bags, which are the source of plastic bag litter. Plastic bag litter is one of the most harmful forms of litter to wildlife along the Gulf Coast, and most of it comes from our inland waterways. This is a very bad bill that needs to be defeated.
Most municipalities are opposed to SB 103, but plastic bag industries and merchants associations support this legislation and have a strong and well-financed lobby.
Last year, Executive Director Kathy Lord, Water Quality Director Steve Hupp, and several Non-Point Source Pollution Prevention Committee members met with each City Council Member to discuss possible carryout bag legislation for the City of Houston. The Mayor and most of the councilmembers are supportive of some sort of carryout bag ordinance for the City of Houston.
We are requesting friends and members of Bayou Preservation Association to take a position in opposition to this bill. Phone calls, emails, or letters to members of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee expressing opposition to this bill can be effective. With the hearing just held on Tuesday morning, March 14, any action before the end of the week will be helpful, and flooding the senators’ offices with calls/emails is most effective since legislative staffers are required to count the calls and emails for and against. The objective is for SB 103 to be held up in Senate Business & Commerce Committee this legislative session.
Click here for a sample letter, written by Dick Cate, which may be reproduced or used as a template by anyone interested in writing to our elected officials.
Also attached is a list of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee Members with addresses, phone numbers, and emails.
An email to each Senator, with PDF file of individual letter attached, may be the most expedient way to express your opposition. As noted in the attachment, email address for each Senator is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Email text might be "Attached is letter expressing opposition to SB 103", or some other wording of your choice.
Please take action to inform your Senator and members of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee of your opinion!