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

Plastic bags are seen stuck to the branches of a tree in New York City on Wednesday

AP Plastic bags are seen stuck to the branches of a tree in New York City on Wednesday

Following in the footsteps of California, the first state in the nation to ban single-use bags, the state of New York will sharply cut the USA output of plastic bags by March 2020, reports The New York Times.

Cuomo proposed the idea as part of his $175 billion budget plan for the fiscal year 2019-20.

Lawmakers met behind closed doors at the Capitol Saturday to finalize agreements on various aspects of the budget.

NY lawmakers have reached an agreement to implement a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags, due to take effect in March 2020.

New York's ban wouldn't take effect until next March.

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. Hawaii has an effective statewide ban, with all its counties imposing their own restrictions.

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Plastic bags are getting canceled. "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".

But in an interview with NBC News' Madani, Todd Kaminsky, a Democratic state senator from Nassau County and chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, said he believes New York's plastic bag ban was long overdue. Lawmakers are planning to return to the Capitol for a rare Sunday session to begin voting on budget bills. Cuomo announced last month he wanted to close three prisons because of the state's declining inmate population.

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

Like in the budget season, some issues will make the cut and others could fall by the wayside when lawmakers adjourn for the year in mid-June.

Other pending issues still being negotiated included criminal justice reform and public financing of political campaigns.

Revenue from the tax would go to transit. 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.

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