(AP) – South Carolina lawmakers are closer to passing a bill that would prevent local governments from passing their own plastic bag bans.
A Senate committee sent the bill to the Senate floor Thursday. It comes after several towns along the South Carolina coast like Folly Beach and Mount Pleasant banned stores from using plastic bags.
Supporters of the bill said a patchwork of bag bans would be hard on businesses following one set of rules in Columbia and another in Mount Pleasant.
Critics say state lawmakers aren’t allowing local governments to make their own decisions if they think the bags are bad for the environment.
The bill allows towns who impose bans before Jan. 31 to keep them.
The bill passed the House in February.