Republican Senator Abeler Wants to Fine Restaurants for Plastic Straws

Senator Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) authored a bill that would ban private establishments from providing costumers with plastic straws unless they personally request one. Violators of this legislation (SF3595) would be fined $50 per illegal straw.

Abeler, who is well known as a very liberal Republican member, is joined by two metro Democrats on the bill: Sen John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin) and Sen John Marty (DFL-Roseville). The companion bill in the MN House has only Democrat authors.

Here's the language of the bill:

Action 4 Liberty opposes this bill. Private businesses already endure too much government regulation. This bill is the antithesis of freedom and free markets.

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  • Douglas Thommes
    commented 2020-03-12 21:00:38 -0500
    Todd Post Another alternative to banning straws would be to not ban straws.
  • Todd Post
    commented 2020-03-10 11:19:37 -0500
    I know Jim Abeler and emailed him asking if this is true. Here’s his response: "Sorry to provoke such a row. The straw thing is actually an effort to protect straws from being banned. The bill was brought to me by a House member. I liked the alternative to banning straws, since the paper ones don’t work very well. FYI I don’t support a ban, even though many cities seem to be moving that way. I liked the voluntary element to giving straws to people who actually want one. Were the bill to ever get a hearing in the Senate, I would delete the penalty at the first opportunity. That is part of the bill I do not agree with and believe it unnecessary. Straws are quite useful for fast food places and some people like them. This would change none of that. Appreciate you asking. Btw the photo is from last year after a highway 10 meeting. "
  • Debbra Beckman
    commented 2020-03-09 11:11:14 -0500
    There are more important things, more pertinent things to worry about!
  • Wade Woodrum
    commented 2020-03-09 09:16:01 -0500