USA Today reports:
New York appears poised to ban single-use plastic shopping bags and mandate a small fee for paper bags, with a final deal expected to be part of a $175 billion state budget due Sunday. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, told reporters Wednesday he expects a ban on plastic bags to be part of the final budget.
But some details are still being negotiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top lawmakers, including whether local governments should be able to opt out of the paper-bag fee and what to do with the money it generates. Cuomo has pushed a ban on plastic bags since last year, arguing that plastic pollution is a scourge exacerbated by carryout bags at retailers.
Democratic lawmakers held a news conference Wednesday to promote the issue, though they were hesitant to discuss any specifics, including whether the paper-bag fee would be 5 or 10 cents and whether anyone, such as food-stamps recipients, would be exempted.
The New York Daily News reports:
The ban comes two years after Cuomo blocked the City’s attempts to place a 5-cent fee on plastic bags because store owners would have kept all of the funds. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) suggested this week that some of the money from a paper bag fee should go to environmental projects.
Lawmakers are discussing carveouts for low-income residents and the possibility that some counties could opt out of the fee portion of the measure. “Those are part of the details we’re working out,” Sen. Todd Kaminsky, the chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee.