Bill Aiming to Cut Back on Local Government Powers Heads to Governor
A bill aimed at limiting local governments’ ability to adopt policies faces a Friday deadline. The bill would prevent cities from increasing employee benefits, setting a minimum wage above the state’s designated minimum wage and banning plastic bags.
That bag banning is especially relevant in Columbia, where the city council had looked at an ordinance doing exactly that, before withdrawing the measure in March.
The bill was proposed by Representative Dan Shaul, who has a vested interest in the bag ban, which would affect groceries. Shaul is the state director of the Missouri Grocers Association, and his website says he is the third generation of Shaul’s to who has participated in grocery association management.
Despite the city council’s decision to withdraw the proposed ban, City Council member Laura Nauser feels the choice should be left to local governments.
“Local representatives have more accountability to the citizens because there is much more easy access to us," Nauser said. "My constituents can call me on my cellphone seven days a week and talk to me personally.”
Republican supporters of the bill say it would still allow for local control by giving more choice to the businesses and consumers.