New York's legislation, "part of the Transportation, Economic Development, and Environmental Conservation budget bill, passed in the Assembly 100 to 42, and Senate 39 to 22", Bloomberg Environment reported Sunday, citing unofficial vote tallies. Temporary waivers will be granted by the state based on factors such as cost and distance.
The measure should also help NY reach its official goal of an 80 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The new fees will not be implemented until 2020 at the earliest.
The ban on most single-use plastic bags will take effect March 1, 2020, while congestion pricing for driving into Manhattan south of 61st street isn't expected to start until the following year. "In urban areas like New York City, people have already opted out from using plastic bags; they don't take them because they already have somewhere else to carry [their purchases]".
Details of the program, such as how much to charge motorists and who might be exempted, remain to be hashed out by the MTA's Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, with implementation slated to begin after December 31, 2020.
NY is the third state to outlaw plastic bags. A similar move was adopted by Hawaii a year later, following the imposition of bans and other restrictions in Oahu and other islands.
Governor Cuomo and Senator Tim Kennedy, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, also announced a $100 million commitment for NFTA Metro Rail upkeep and fix, a five-year capital plan. The governor said in Albany on Sunday that he is "very excited" about the new legislation, which he called "long overdue".
Counties will have the option of charging a 5 cents per bag fee on paper bags.
"The convenience of plastic bags is simply not worth the environmental impact", said Carl Heastie, D-Yonkers. Cuomo and party leaders have said the issue is too complex to rush.
Government reform advocates, including Lawrence Norden of NYU's Brennan Center, says that falls short.
"I believe ultimately we can get there, and we must get there - I don't believe we can get there in two weeks".
One item that fell out of the budget was a provision legalizing recreational marijuana.
"There are a lot of questions that we don't have answers to", said Sen.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has been struggling to modernise old subway infrastructure and reduce delays which are rife throughout the city.