Tennessee bill to stop local plastic bag bans heads to gov

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill to ban local governments from regulating certain plastic bags and utensils.

The Senate passed the legislation Thursday. The House already approved it, so it next heads to Republican Gov. Bill Lee.

The Republican-led General Assembly is reacting to recent consideration by Memphis and Nashville, the liberal-leaning, most populous cities in the state, of proposals to levy taxes against single-use plastic bags in order to cut down on waste.

Democratic Sen. Raumesh Akbari criticized the GOP majority for trying to override the decision-making of local governments.

Eleven other states -- including Idaho, Florida, and Wisconsin -- have already enacted similar so-called "bans on bans."