| News

By Laura Lundquist, Missoula Current

Missoula, Bozeman battle against single-use plastics, but is Legislature listening?

During a Legislative debate on the ability of communities to restrict the use of plastics, Democrats struggled to convince Republicans that local control is best.

On Tuesday, 15 Montanans, led by several from Bozeman and Missoula, testified in favor of House Bill 413, which would reverse a law passed two years ago that prohibits cities and towns from taking individual action to limit or ban single-use plastics.

Rep. Ed Stafman, D-Bozeman, said the city of Bozeman asked him to carry the bill, but it didn’t take much convincing, because for him, it was about local control and government overreach.

“That list in the statute where local governments are prohibited from doing different things has grown exponentially in the last few years,” Stafman said. “Instead of giving power to the people at the lowest level where they’re closest to their elected officials in cities and counties, this body has taken that power away and decided that they know what’s best for Bozeman and Glendive and everywhere else.”

Thomas Jodoin, Montana League of Cities and Towns deputy director, said HB 413 was important to Montana’s 127 incorporated towns because they need the latitude to manage their own solid waste and storm water systems.

“The last session probably went way too far in that the voters cannot decide how to best manage their solid waste systems. This fundamentally goes against the principles of democracy,” Jodoin said.


Read the full story.


Comments are closed.