NWRA Multistate Update: Sunbelt Region

NWRA Multistate Update: Sunbelt Region

In this NWRA State Update, we provide legislative updates for multiple states, including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.


In Alabama, there have been 563 bills filed in the House and 351 bills filed in the Senate. Though it was rumored at the beginning of the legislative session that the session may be cut short in light of the pandemic, that is no longer the sentiment and both bodies are expected to use the allotted 30 legislative days. Last week, the House opened by adopting a large Special Order Calendar on March 30 but failed to complete the calendar as it contained several controversial bills regarding voting and election law. The extended debate took legislators well into the night before finally adjourning with 19 bills left on the calendar.


In Louisiana, Senate Bill 97 sponsored by Sen. Eddie Lambert (R-18) relating to advanced recycling facilities and processes for the conversion of certain recovered materials was prefiled on March 30. This bill is set to be referred to the Committee on Environmental Quality.


In Mississippi, Wayne County will be holding an “Amnesty Day” on April 10 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT. The annual event gives residents in the area an opportunity to properly dispose of their household hazardous waste items. For more information, click here.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, Senate Bill 451 sponsored by Sens. Julia Mayfield (D-49) and Natalie Murdock (D-20) was introduced on April 1. This relates to prohibiting the use of non-recyclable, non-compostable or single-use plastic foodservice ware and single-use plastic bags. This bill passed its first reading on April 5 and was referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations.

New Mexico

In New Mexico, the Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency will be hosting a Free Trash Disposal Day for city and county residents on Saturday, April 17 from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. MT. The city of Santa Fe reports the event will be held at the Buckman Road Recycling and Transfer Station and Caja del Rio Landfill. 

Additionally, in New Mexico, Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a lawsuit on March 29 against the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission intended to block a project to build a temporary storage facility for high-level nuclear waste in southeast New Mexico.


In Oklahoma, Senate Bill 448 sponsored by Sens. Zach Taylor (R-28) and Brad Boles (R-51) was introduced and was reported Do Pass on February 11 by the Senate Energy Committee. It passed the Oklahoma Senate with a vote of 34 to 8 on March 10. It was referred to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and passed on March 31 with a vote of 11 to 1.


In Pennsylvania, only the House held session the week of April 5. The agenda is wide ranging, with several bills under consideration being reintroduced from prior sessions that passed the House but failed to make it through the legislative process. The most significant is House Bill 37 sponsored by Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-189). This bill would make handheld cell phone use a primary offense and increase fines for texting while driving.

Additionally, House Bill 605 sponsored by Rep. Torren Ecker (R-193) passed the House on April 6 with a vote of 107 to 94. This legislation provides temporary, targeted protection from COVID-19 liability lawsuits for those complying with government health and safety guidelines.

The Senate continues to hold appropriations hearings on FY 21-22 budgets proposed for several agencies.


The NWRA Texas chapter has been distributing letters in support of various trucking tort reform bills. These bills have had contentious hearings; therefore, a more substantial update will be provided on each bill in the future.

The next official legislative deadline is Monday, May 10. By that date, any House bill must be reported out of the House Committee or it is reported dead.