Austin–Texas has never been identified as a hardcore environmental battleground state. With only days left before the first gavel slams in Austin, the idea of that changing seems to be about as distant as ever. But there are a few environmental bills slated for possible consideration on the table.
One of those bills takes aim on the plastic problem–at least in part. Austin area State Representative Gina Hinojosa filed House Bill 514, which would in essence challenge a 2018 ruling by the Texas Supreme Court that said plastic bag ordnances are an infringement by local governments on personal liberty. Austin, often considered the liberal armpit of Texas by some, had chosen to ban single use plastic bags within their city. With the Supreme Court ruling, the so-called “bag ban” is nearly completely dead. But that has not stopped Hinojosa from trying.
Her bill, as practical as it might seem to some will likely not hold any weight in the republican dominated legislature. But Hinojosa remains optimistic, according to members of her staff. Though her optimism will likely be short lived.
Political observers say that the bill likely lacks the support needed to reach Governor Abbott’s desk, but you never know unless you try, and Hinojosa is at least doing that–for whatever it might be worth.