More Trash Legislation

Hudson_Deborah_AMG_3649   Republican House Minority Whip, Rep. Deborah Hudson has sponsored HB 202, a bill intended, in her view, to reduce the amount of, so-called single use plastic bags, along our Delaware roads.    Here is the synopsis of the bill,

This bill expands upon the existing at-store recycling program regarding the use of single-use plastic bags. The existing requirements will continue, however stores subject to this program will now be required to charge 5 cents for every single use carry out bag that is provided to customers. There are also reporting requirements to help track the fees that are charged and the distribution of the single use bags. This reporting will detail the manner in which these funds are expended, as the stores will be authorized to use the fees that are collected in order to promote the use and distribution of reusable bags. Penalties will be imposed for violating the requirements of this program. The purpose of the bill, as detailed in the preamble, is to clean up our communities and watersheds, reduce storm water and trash management costs to taxpayers, and promote the health and safety of watersheds and wildlife. This bill becomes effective on December 2, 2016 at which time the existing at-store plastic bag recycling program will expire (and be re-incorporated into the new program).”

First of all, we all remember how the 5 cent deposit on bottles worked so well to keep bottles off the side of our roads, right? No it did not. And this isn’t even a refundable deposit, this is a bag tax. Now some will say it’s not a tax because the stores retain the money. But it is a tax, the stores are simply being made the “bag man” for the state. (Forgive the pun.)

The state first mandates the cost of the bag, and then mandates how the stores are to use the money collected. The state also mandates records of how many bags are bought and sold by the stores, and includes a fine for non-compliance. Sounds like a tax to me.

This is social engineering, pure and simple. This is government slapping you across the nose for not behaving the way they want you to. I will leave it to commenters here to list all of the reasons this is a bad idea. Like how it would impact the poorest families the most, the ones with the largest families in some cases.

Rep. Hudson would prefer you use cloth reusable bags, such bags have been proven to be a health risk unless washed after every use. So one unintended consequence would be more detergents being used and ending up in the water ways.

A larger question might be, how can we count on our Republican legislators to oppose the idea of a ten-cent gasoline tax, when in some cases they support the idea of a five-cent bag tax?

Here is the list of sponsors,

“Rep. Hudson, Rep. Brady & Rep. Mulrooney & Sen. McDowell & Sen. Cloutier, Reps. D. Short, Baumbach, Bentz, Jaques, Kowalko, Lynn, Paradee, K. Williams.”

As we can see, the majority of the sponsors and co-sponsors are Democrats, the two lone Republicans are Rep. Hudson and Minority Leader Danny Short. So we have the Republican leadership in the House sponsoring a tax on bags, okay, good job guys and gals.

This is exactly the type of legislation we see coming from Republicans because they are in the minority, and in some cases they feel they can only be relevant, if they get their names on legislation which gets passed. So, they try to find bills that Democrats will support. So, while this may be the type of bill minority parties get passed, it is not the type of bill which gets them out of being, minority parties.

Unless you can find me someone, who is not some single, retired, hippie type, who supports this idea, I am going to bet this will not be received well by consumers.

Maybe Rep. Hudson should get out on the roads once in a while and follow a garbage truck, I followed one the other day and got tired of counting the number of plastic bags that came flying out the top of the truck. Maybe we could enforce the laws on the books about sloppy loads, before burdening the citizens with this bag tax.

And on another note of, “What are they thinking”. Here is a press release from Senator Hocker.

Hocker signs


So while I have no problem with making sure these signs are not “TOO” bright, or that they don’t look like a disco from the 80’s, I am concerned a state Senator is “calling on” the county and municipalities to take action to regulate the signs. I think the county and towns are quite capable of making up their own minds on what action to take, without pressure from Dover.

I also have a concern,  with regulation, always seems to come a cost, a fee, a tax. These taxes and fees naturally have a stifling effect, especially on the small business owner. This makes it harder to start a business, and to compete with the mega-stores and businesses.

I have often heard Senator Hocker make the statement, “if I were starting the same business today which my wife and I started years ago, we wouldn’t be able to do it, because of the over regulation and cost of permits and fees”.

Maybe Senator Hocker might want to remember that in this case. After all, I am told that “Mr.” Hocker owns several static billboards along the highways of Sussex.

Both of these cases demonstrate something that has become a bit of a sore spot for me concerning my Republican elected officials. The amount of “TRASH” legislation and ideas due to them being in the minority.

While I understand, while in the minority, they have no chance to set the agenda or to pass any bills that would offset the Democrat agenda of bigger government, I am damned sure that this type of legislating does nothing to help gain ground and seats, in order to find our place at the table.



16 Comments on "More Trash Legislation"

  1. fightingbluehen says:

    I can tell you that those plastic bags are not “single use” in my family’s house. After they have served their purpose as a grocery bag, they are used as garbage bags, and if there are any left over, they are put in the recycle bin. Isn’t this part of the reason why we have recycling laws on the books in the first place.

    If a cop sees plastic bags flying out the back of a garbage truck, then they need to pull that truck over and do their freaking job, right?

  2. Rick says:

    Maybe we could enforce the laws on the books about sloppy loads, before burdening the citizens with this bag tax.

    You mean the Old Bag’s tax. Why doesn’t she just join the Democrats and be done with it?

    If a cop sees plastic bags flying out the back of a garbage truck, then they need to pull that truck over and do their freaking job, right?

    What? And spoil their hiding place?

    There’s a lot of people going 55 in a 50 in Sussex. They must pay.

  3. mouse says:

    The police have little interest in enforcing things that don’t generate easy money

  4. Mike Protack says:

    Bag tax? Everything is taxed.

    The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design. Friedrich August von Hayek

    Read more at:

  5. Dave says:

    The plastic bags used to be able to be repurposed for many many other uses. Today, they are so thin that they have double or triple bag things like milk or other heavy items because the bags will just tear.

    I don’t know why they are attempting half measures anyway. Just eliminate the bags. The new reusable bags are more convenient because you can load them up and honestly use them for many more purposes than the plastic. With the half measure everyone will grumble. Just get rid of the damn things.

  6. Dave says:

    “some single, retired, hippie type,”

    Why are limiting it to singles? What’s wrong with including married, retired, hippie types?

  7. Frank Knotts says:

    Dave, because single people are likely to buy fewer items, thus fewer bags, thus care less about the cost.

  8. Sam Chick says:

    Just what we need! More laws, more onerous mandates for people to comply with, more compulsory reporting tying businesses up with needless bureaucracy, more money taken out of people’s pockets, more restrictions on what people are allowed to do with their own property, more liberty taken away to be replaced with the safety blanket of a we-know-better-than-you government.

    I’m glad we have these benevolent overseers in legislative hall keeping us safe. I don’t know how the country even made it this far with all the dangerous freedom that’s been floating around. Don’t be worried though, when they all get reelected this year the government will be able to stamp out the last vestiges of liberty in Delaware once and for all.

  9. Dave says:

    Plastic bag law = “onerous mandate”

    The sky is falling! SAM CHICKEn little. LOL. I just couldn’t help myself.

    The sad part Sam, is that you are serious, so it’s both funny and sad.

  10. Sam Chick says:

    LOL Dave, look up the definition of facetious and get back to me.

    It is an important issue though, your dismissal notwithstanding. Free enterprise is endangered by the “death by a thousand cuts” effect of unnecessary mandates and, frankly, idiotic regulation.

  11. Honi Soit says:

    Hey Sam: Speaking of safeguarding free enterprise, howz about abolishing the Weights & Measures Section of the Delaware Dept of Agriculture? Have a look at their webpage. It’s downright scary how much that government bureaucracy controls our lives with their idiotic regulation:

    “The work of the Weights and Measures Section has an impact on virtually every aspect of our lives from the moment we wake until we go to sleep.

    *The weights or volumes of your toothpaste, bath soap, cereal, milk, coffee, luncheon meat, bread, hamburger, vegetables, soft drinks, and snacks are all regulated by Weights and Measures.
    *The meter that delivers your heating fuel and the pump that fills the gas tank of your car is checked by our inspectors.
    *The pricing program at stores with checkout scanners is checked to ensure that items ring up at the posted or advertised price.
    *The amount of time that the local do-it-yourself car wash provides for you to wash your car falls under our jurisdiction.
    *The vehicle scales that determine the price that your refuse hauler charges for garbage service are inspected for accuracy and correctness by our staff.

    The list goes on and on, but every item that is sold by weight, measure, or count in Delaware falls under the scrutiny of our Section.”

  12. Sam Chick says:

    I’d say Weights & Measures isn’t the first place to look when you’re talking about reducing the scope of government. Enforcing the legal definition of weights and measures is a legitimate function of government.

    However, that doesn’t mean the current way it’s handled is the best way. Maybe it’d be more cost-effective and less intrusive to rely on criminal complaints and civil suits, like most other forms of fraud. Just because the executive branch performs a certain function currently, doesn’t mean that it should do so forever. Could people stay honest without a squad of inspectors keeping them in check? Probably. At least, as honest as they are now. There will always be cheaters trying to defraud people through deceitful means, inspectors or no.

    To answer your question without reservation, I’d have to know more about the department and the specific tasks they carry out. Presently, the depth of my knowledge on what W&M does is limited to observing the little sticker on the gas pump each time I fill up.

  13. Missing Dutch says:

    The Delaware GOP is pathetic and Hudson is Exhibit A. We need new leadership folks. Copeland and the rest of the Newark crew are useless and feckless. Time for a hostile takeover.

  14. Anonymous says:

    From Boulder, CO.

    Stores will keep four cents of the fee to order to cover their costs complying with the ordinance, training employees, etc. The remaining six cents will be remitted to the City of Boulder for uses stated in the ordinance, including:

    Administrative costs associated with developing and implementing the fee;
    Providing reusable bags to the community;
    Educating residents, businesses and visitors about the impacts of disposable bags;
    Funding programs and infrastructure that allow the community to reduce waste associated with disposable bags;
    Purchase and install equipment to minimize bag pollution, such as recycling containers;
    Fund community cleanup events; and
    Mitigate the effects of disposable bags on the city’s drainage system and environment.

    *The Disposable Bag Fee is a fee, not a tax, and therefore proceeds collected in accordance with this ordinance can only be used for the purposes listed above, and cannot be used for general government expenses.

  15. Frank Knotts says:

    Anonymous, the money is to be used to enforce the regulation through recording and reporting, and to re-educate the citizenry to the government’s standards concerning waste.
    This is a tax and spend program mandated by government, who then forces private businesses to implement the program through threat of fines.
    Look up fascism, little “f” and see what the definition is.

  16. mouse says:

    If we didn’t have trashy selfish people callously tossing trash all over, we wouldn’t need such laws.

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