Steven Selleck

CT Ban on Plastic Bags & Styrofoam Would Squeeze Low-Income Residents & Throttle Jobs

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Posted by Steven Selleck on Thursday, May 30th, 2019, 1:34 PM PERMALINK

Low-income residents, small businesses, and jobs would all take a hit with a statewide ban on plastic bags and Styrofoam containers in Connecticut.

The Senate environment committee recently approved a bill that would ban plastic bags, Styrofoam containers, and require paper bags be recyclable and contain 40 percent recycled materials (which begs the question, why not allow recycled plastic?).

The committee already approved a bill barring straws from being handed out unless requested.

Town after town in the state have banned plastic bags, straws, and Styrofoam, leading to this moment.

In addition to not even being effective (World Resources Institute), and the unintended consequences, if the goal is to deal with highly publicized world ocean pollution, it is misguided because the United States has virtually no share of that pollution, according to Statista.

Governor Ned Lamont (D) recommended a 10 cent per-bag tax in February. According to the Yankee Institute, this tax would cost shoppers approximately $30 million. But still, even Lamont was short of proposing an all-out ban.

This move does not just hurt manufacturers and workers in the industry, but it will negatively impact small businesses that will have to change the containers they use, adding costs for them, and worse products for consumers.

Finally, shipping companies like Amazon will have to use different materials to ship orders, possibly increasing costs of shipping and handling.

 Other states that banned these materials are California, Hawaii, Maine, New York, and others, according to National Conference of State Legislators.


See More on Plastic Bans:

Cuomo & Legislators Will Ban Plastic Bags, Tax Paper in NY

Worst-in-Nation Bill to Ban Plastic Bags, Straws, Styrofoam Containers Advances in NJ

Maryland About to Become First Nanny-State to Ban Styrofoam


See More on Connecticut:

Connecticut Could Become Most Tolled State in the Nation

CT Governor Ned Lamont Demands Regressive Statewide Soda Tax

Connecticut Examples of Tax Reform Good News

Photo Credit: buymmogold/Flickr

Second Chance Act Would Strengthen Communities, Boost Economy, Reduce Crime

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Posted by Steven Selleck on Friday, May 17th, 2019, 8:59 AM PERMALINK

The North Carolina state Senate recently passed the “Second Chance Act”, a solid criminal justice reform bill that will help former non-violent offenders, who have maintained a clean record since their release, fully reintegrate with society.  

The bill removes barriers to economic opportunities for former offenders, allowing them to expunge non-violent offenses from their records if they have gone 10 years or more under the following conditions: no new charges, completed sentencing, paid all fines. The one-time fee of $175 is far more reasonable than the costly legal hurdles that people have to deal with now.

Senate Bill 562 was passed unanimously, with strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. This coming the day after Rebecca Tisdale, former non-violent criminal and founder of Justice Served, NC, marched along with over 1,000 supporters of the criminal reform bill.

Her story shows the personal impact of these reforms, as ABC 11 reports, “For Tisdale, it's a whole new life. At 40, she is finally able to get a driver's license. She's now enrolled at Wake Tech, and, hope has returned.”

Now the bill needs to be approved by the North Carolina House. The House has every reason to support the bill. This legislation is a win for taxpayers and communities. People who have proven they have moved on from their crimes should have the chance to leave that past behind, build new lives, and contribute to their communities. The opportunity to clear one’s record is an important incentive for people to avoid committing another crime later.

According to Tisdale, “It’s a second chance. It’s a big chance”. 

Photo Credit: Max Pixel