By Mike Dennison, MTN News

HELENA — On a mostly party-line vote with Republicans in favor, the Montana House Wednesday endorsed a bill to prohibit local governments from regulating any food packaging or containers, such as plastic or Styrofoam.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Mark Noland, R-Bigfork, said any restrictions on food packaging should be statewide, rather than having a patchwork of local laws – and that it would protect small businesses from burdensome regulations.

“This bill is simply saying that certain prohibitions on the products we all use should be done on a statewide basis, so that consumers and businesses have one standard that covers the entire state,” he said. “We should not have dozens of different prohibitions.”

The House voted 64-to-35 in favor of House Bill 407. All of the chamber’s Democrats and two Republicans voted against it. After a final vote Thursday, it will advance to the Senate.

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