Ban on plastic bags comes close to reality in NY

Christopher Davidson
March 31, 2019

While the proposal didn't include a ban on paper bags, it would allow local governments to impose a 5-cent fee on paper bags.

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

Another said, "I hate it".

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie agreed.

New York City residents offered mixed reactions to the news as they prepared for drastic changes to how they shop. "We just have to dot the I's and cross the T's".

The Manhattan tolls plan known as congestion pricing will be the first of its kind in the nation.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said repeatedly that he will not accept a budget without at least a commitment to public campaign finance, said on WCNY's "The Capitol Pressroom" that he realizes there are obstacles.

The ban, if passed, would go into effect in March 2020 and will apply to all single-use plastic bags provided by stores that collect sales tax.

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Louise Sharakan told WCBS she was "looking forward" to the change because she's "tired of having to recycle" the bags.

"New York had a chance to show real leadership and came up short", said Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of NY, according to the Times. And while environmental advocates are applauding the milestone, many complain that the measure doesn't go far enough to curtail littering. Under the plan, localities can opt in to charging the fee.

It also places a fee on handing out paper bags. "I'm exhausted of having to recycle them".

"From the beginning, I said we will not do a budget that fails to address three major issues that have evaded this state for decades - the permanent property tax cap, criminal justice reform and an MTA overhaul including Central Business District Tolling", Cuomo said.

Lawmakers are facing a Monday deadline on a budget agreement.

One of the other big issues of the year - the legalization of recreational marijuana - will not be included in the budget.

Cuomo also says the state spending plan, when finished, will codify the health care protections in the federal Affordable Care Act into state law.

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