Lawmaker: residents should decide on plastic straw bans instead of local governments

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Plastic straws continue to stir up trouble in Florida.

Largo just approved a ban on single-use plastics, and St. Petersburg is phasing in their version of a straw ban to take full effect in 2020. 

However, a newly introduced House bill could stop city officials in their tracks. 

State Representative Anthony Sabatini Introduced a bill that would ban municipal governments from banning plastic straws, instead shifting that power to citizens and business owners. 

In a statement on his Facebook page, Representative Sabatini wrote, "The decision to use a plastic straw should be made by citizens—not government; the decision to offer plastic straws should be made by business owners—not government."

However, some citizens in St. Petersburg feel differently. 

"[City Council] can make the decision. It's fine by me. It's all good," said St. Petersburg resident Jim Dannuzio. 

He's not alone. Even those in the restaurant industry appear to have faith in the city officials to make the most informed decision. 

"I feel that our government, especially locally in St. Pete, is very important to the businesses, the residents, the community in general," said Cason Hall, who works at the downtown St. Petersburg Maple Street Biscuit Company location. 

Hall doesn't foresee any problems with curbing plastic straw use.

"I don't think it's going to be a hassle at all. If you need one that's fine and we'll be happy to give it to you," he added. 

If passed, Rep. Sabatini's bill could go into effect as early as July 1.