NY Nears Statewide Ban On Plastic Bags | Yorktown

Katie Ramirez
March 31, 2019

NY will be the third state banning single-use plastic bags, once it begins in March 2020, following California and Hawaii.

There are still a few moving parts to the budget, but Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said some of the remaining items -criminal justice reform, public financing of campaigns and increasing school aid funding - are "within striking distance of being resolved".

Lawmakers planned to begin passing budget bills right away during a session that could spill into Monday, when the spending plan for 2019-2020 is due to be in place.

"For far too long plastic bags have blighted our environment and clogged our waterways and that's why I proposed a ban in this year's budget".

"All the news and attention, which I'm happy about, it's getting now, I think in a year or two we are going to look back and wonder what all the fuss was about", Kaminsky said.

With the ban, NY joins California in imposing a statewide ban (though the Times says Hawaii also has a de facto state-wide ban in practice, as they are prohibited by the island state's counties individually). But as Jesse McKinley reports for the New York Times, the ban has drawn criticism from both business groups and environmental advocates. Under the plan, localities can opt in to charging the fee. Moran said the plan could result in "trading one environmental issue for another".

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Moran says she's also pleased that the budget attempts to curb excessive food waste, at a time when she says 2.5 million New Yorkers go hungry.

"It would require producers of a lot of food to donate any excess food", Moran said. "I'm exhausted of having to recycle them".

Major issues that didn't make it into the spending plan include legalization of recreational marijuana.

Late in the day, Cuomo held a press briefing.

Lawmakers met behind closed doors at the Capitol Saturday to finalize agreements on various aspects of the budget. Legislative leaders say the laws will not expire, and stronger tenant protections are widely expected, but it remains to be seen how much of a difference one-party control in Albany will make beyond simply renewing the current rent regulations.

Hear Governor Cuomo's Friday news conference on state budget negotiations.

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