Senator Hough Comments on Plastic Bag Ban and Maryland Gambling Expansion

Senator Michael Hough said a plastic ban should be left up to the local government.

Annapolis, MD – Lawmakers at the 2020 General Assembly are seeking a ban on plastic carryout bags in the state of Maryland and to take gaming provisions out of the state’s constitution.

The bill would also have stores charging customers a 10 cent fee for each non-plastic carryout bag which are likely made out of paper.

State Senator Michael Hough said the decision shouldn’t be up to lawmakers at the state level.

“I think things like this should be best left to local government to figure out,” Hough said. “… We should let the counties do it, instead of Annapolis as normal doing these one size fits all solutions.”

The goal of the bill is to limit overall waste and for consumers to utilize reusable bags made to last.

Hough said there is limited time at the General Assembly and it should be devoted to matters that are more important.

“I don’t have a lot of time or energy that I think I want to see spent on littering laws,” Hough said. “Whether it’s balloons or plastic bags or anything else, these can all be dealt with by the local governments.”

Montgomery County currently has a plastic bag law, charging 5 cents for every plastic or paper carryout bag at the point of sale.

Hough also gave comment on the Senate’s 46-1 Tuesday vote to take gaming provisions out of the state’s constitution.

The amendment would make it easier for lawmakers to expand forms of gambling like sports betting.

“It’s a good thing,” Hough said. “Because gambling should have never been in the state’s constitution anyways.”

Hough said previously, any changes to gambling laws would require a constitutional amendment and would delay the process by two years.

“It was a terrible way to do government,” Hough said.

If the amendment becomes law, referendum questions concerning gambling would likely be on November’s ballot.

By Timothy Young