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East Texas Legislator Asks Attorney General To Rule On Cities' Plastic Bag Bans

Doualy Xaykaothao
State Representative Dan Flynn represents Hunt, Hopkins and Van Zandt. The Republican has been asked by the Texas Retailers Association to request an opinion from Greg Abbott on the legality of plastic bag ordinances in Texas.

An East Texas legislator wants Attorney General Greg Abbott to determine whether it's legal for cities to enforce plastic bag bans. Nine Texas cities have passed ordinances that prohibit or limit the use of plastic bags by retailers. Dallas plans to consider a ban later this month. 

Flynn sat down with KERA to talk about his formal request.

Interview Highlights: Dan Flynn...

  • Why he got involved: "It's the old adage of putting the camel's nose under the tent, once it gets started somewhere, it kinda rolls down the this going to extend to all the cities, are we going to have to look at this bag ban...And then the [Texas] Retailers Association, they came to us, and said, ya know, we filed a suit, but we've withdrawn it because we think that we'd like to have more information on what the authority is here, before we go through any kind of a suit."
  • Is he getting funding from The Texas Retailers Association:  "I'm not in a campaign...over the years, I'm sure the retail people have paid donations to my campaign. I couldn't tell you amounts. I couldn't tell you when they last made a donation to me. I don't know."
  • On Austin bag ban: "I've been amazed at how many people have complained in the grocery stores about it...there are a lot of people that are just a little distressed that local government is expanding their authority on [personal] rights."

Doualy Xaykaothao is a newscaster and reporter for NPR, based in Culver City. She returned to NPR for this role in 2018, and is responsible for writing, producing, and delivering national newscasts. She also reports on breaking news stories for NPR.