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Gov. DeSantis Vetoes Bill, Sends Plastic Straw Ban Back To Cities

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a controversial bill Friday that would have restricted the right of local governments - including St. Petersburg - to regulate single-use plastic straws.

"A number of Florida municipalities, including Sanibel, Ft. Myers Beach and Miami Beach have enacted ordinances prohibiting single-use plastic straws," DeSantis wrote in his veto letter. "These measures have not, as far as I can tell, frustrated any state policy or harmed the state's interests. In fact, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has encouraged Florida residents, schools and businesses to reduce plastic straw use." 

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said on Twitter that he appreciated that DeSantis used his first veto to follow DEP recommendations and was “respecting home rule.’’

The bill would have placed a moratorium until 2024 on such regulations and require a study by the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, a research arm of the Legislature. Lawmakers included the moratorium in a broader environmental bill that deals with issues such as recycling.

It was DeSantis' first veto.

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Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.