Bill banning local plastic bag restrictions signed by Pence

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City and county officials across Indiana won't be allowed to tax or restrict the use of disposable plastic bags by grocery stores and other retailers under a new state law.

The governor's office said Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill Wednesday. The measure was approved with mostly Republican support during the legislative session that ended two weeks ago.

Municipalities across the country, as well as the state of California, have banned single-use plastic bags. Others have adopted so-called bag taxes to discourage their use, citing environmental reasons.

The measure takes effect immediately and prohibits cities from considering bag restrictions, as Bloomington has done.

Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, who sponsored the bill, said businesses and industry groups oppose regulating bags.

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