Utah House denies vote on plastic bag bill

After attempting to get his bill to the floor of the Utah House of Representatives, Rep. Mike McKell (R-Spanish Fork) was jeered by his colleagues in the Utah Legislature who were opposed to his bill, H.B. 320, which would have preempted local bans on the use of plastic bags in Park City and Moab.

The bill faced opposition for multiple reasons, among them, according to Mayor Emily Niehaus, opposition to “preemption,” in which the state overrides a locality’s attempt to self-govern.

Niehaus said that she and Council Member Karen Guzman-Newton accompanied McKell when his bill was first introduced on the House floor on March 1. At that time, McKell requested to have the bill “circled,” meaning it would not be discussed or reach a vote until he requested to “uncircle” it.

On Monday, he did just that. After requesting to consider the bill on the floor, the Utah House voted down McKell’s motion 33 to 42.

House Speaker Greg Hughes (R-Draper) commented after the vote to uncircle failed, “I haven’t seen that in a while.”

This video captures the moment McKell brought his bill to the Utah House floor.
Video courtesy of the Utah state legislature
Edited by Carter Pape

Niehaus told The Times-Independent after the vote failed that she was eager to move forward and work with McKell on other issues.

“Now that this plastic bag ban ban is behind us, I look forward to working with Representative McKell on issues we agree on, including funding higher education and economic development in rural Utah,” Niehaus said.