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The Associated Press has a story about how Arizona state lawmakers have voted for a law prohibiting local cities from banning free single-use plastic bags, and move that came after one city implemented such a ban and two others considered a similar prohibition.

The story notes that "the Arizona bill to outlaw bag bans was backed by the Arizona Retailers Association and the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance, which represents brands including Safeway, Kroger, Circle K and QuickTrip. Tim McCabe, president of Arizona Food Marketing Alliance, said the statewide ban makes it easier for customers who may be confused by a patchwork of city regulations."

The Arizona state legislature has taken an increasingly vigilant interest in what cities and towns allow and don't allow, according to the story: "Arizona cities are forbidden from hiking minimum wages and enacting taxes or regulations on firearms. The same law that made it illegal for cities to ban plastic bags also applied similar restrictions on Styrofoam containers and other disposable products. And it included a requirement blocking cities from requiring business owners to report energy usage consumption, something some municipalities were considering in order to encourage energy-efficiency in buildings."

And, the AP reports, Arizona is not alone: "Other conservative states are making similar moves to ban plastic bag bans. Florida already has made it illegal for municipalities to ban plastic bags, and lawmakers are considering similar legislation in Missouri and Texas, said Jennifer Schultz, a policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures."
KC's View:
The story also makes the entirely appropriate observation that the statewide moves in Arizona are not without irony - conservative lawmakers there protest often and vocally that the federal government legislates with a heavy hand and overreaches its authority, while essentially doing the same thing at a more granular level within the state.

Though, as the story also makes clear, legislative hypocrisy hardly is unique to Arizona. Just obvious in the hot desert sun.

What is interesting about this is the extent to which these lawmakers seem unwilling to allow for the possibility that other people in other places might have different priorities and approaches to governance. They seem to be demanding a kind of sweeping philosophical purity that I find discomfiting.