The battle over plastic straws is now going to the state level.
On Monday, Florida lawmakers approved Senate Bill 588 with a 3-1 vote; the proposal would implement a 5 year hold that would keep local governments from enforcing regulations on plastic straws. That means individual towns and cities could no longer restrict bars and restaurants from giving customers plastic straws to use.
Those in favor of the bill argued that more scientific research needs to be done on the impact of a plastic straw ban suggesting a study be conducted.
Some South Florida cities like Delray Beach have already passed their own ordinances banning plastic straws.
That’s where right now customers only get a plastic straw if they ask for one.
Starting January 1, 2020, plastic straws will be banned completely, unless a customer needs one for a medical or physical condition.
Businesses violating the ban could face up to a $500 fine.
The proposed Senate bill has two more committee stops before it will head to the floor for a full vote.
Florida’s 2019 legislative session begins Tuesday.