Ban on plastic bags comes close to reality in a 3rd state

Posted April 01, 2019

If passed, NY would be the second state after California to enforce a plastic bag ban.

"New York's ban, which would begin next March, would forbid stores to provide customers with single-use plastic bags, which are nonbiodegradable and have been blamed for everything from causing gruesome wildlife deaths to thwarting recycling efforts", adds the article.

The budget agreement establishes a state commission that will come up with a system for the public financing of legislative and statewide offices, with up to $100m in taxpayer funds authorized annually for such a system. People can still get plastic carry out bags for food, get dry cleaning in plastic bags and put fruits and vegetables in plastic bags at the supermarket.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the Legislature and governor are committed to ending cash bail in NY, even if they can't complete the goal in the budget.

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After several failed attempts, NY state is poised to ban single-use plastic bags provided by stores, making it only the second U.S. state, after California, to pass such a rule.

Governor Cuomo's push to improve the environmental health of NY is a laudable goal, which is shared and championed by the retail food industry.

Other agreements in the budget include the closure of up to three yet-to-be-determined state prisons, eliminating cash bail for misdemeanor and non-violent felony arrests, a permanent, annual 2 percent cap on local property taxes, and another $1 billion for public education. California's ban has been in place since 2016.

The budget will also contain a provision requiring employers to give workers three hours off to vote on election day.

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Negotiations are also continuing on a proposal to tax luxury second homes in Manhattan worth more than $5 million.

Revenue from the tax would go to transit.

One major issue that did not make it into the spending plan was the legalization of recreational marijuana.

"Doing the right budget is more important than doing on time", said Cuomo.

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