Plastic bag ban gets approved in NY state budget

New York State Capitol

DEVELOPING: New York to Become Second State in the US to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags

NY is slated to become the second state in the USA to ban single-use plastic bags.

Gov. Cuomo faced a midnight deadline to sign the budget bills into law before the start of the 2020 fiscal year on Monday.

"It's great that we've taken a step to ban plastic bags".

"I am proud to announce that together, we got it done", Cuomo said.

The Democratic-controlled legislature has reportedly struck a deal to outlaw plastic bags in NY as part of its budget bill. Mike Durant, president of the Food Industry Alliance of New York State, tells the Times' McKinley that he is concerned by the "failure to give even a portion of the 5-cent [paper bag] fee back to the stores", which makes the ban "an untenable mandate for many of our members who operate within finite profit margins".

Under the new legislation, NY counties would be able to levy a five-cent tax on paper bags, with part of the resulting revenue going to an environmental-protection fund. "I'm looking forward to it", she said, according to CBS New York.

"I think we have a lot of agreements or are close to agreement", Heastie said.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: A proposal to eliminate cash bail for all criminal defendants is a priority for many Democratic lawmakers, but disagreements persist about whether cash bail should remain an option for defendants accused of violent felonies.

Heastie differed a bit with the Senate leader's assessment on the chances of public campaign finance being in the final budget.

Lawmakers have also agreed on a measure that would close two yet-to-be-determined state prisons. "While the best policy would be a ban on plastic bags coupled with a statewide fee on other disposable bags, this agreement represents a tremendous step forward".

Liz Moran, the environmental lobbyist for the New York Public Interest Research Group, says that's good news.

One of the other big issues of the year - the legalization of recreational marijuana - will not be included in the budget. Cuomo and party leaders have said the issue is too complex to rush. The billions the tolls are expected to raise will go toward fixing New York City's ailing mass transit system.

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