Manhattan tolls, plastic bag ban approved in New York budget

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

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

NY lawmakers voted Sunday to bar retailers from giving customers their purchases in single-use plastic bags - and approved fees of up to five cents each if they opt for paper sacks instead. The group stated in January that paper bags are the bigger environmental threat (they aren't) and the plastic ban would only harm business.

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.

The ban will have so-called "carve outs", CBS New York reports.

It also contains a provision that would allow (but not force) localities to impose a 5-cent tax on paper bags.

Among those addressing the issue at an Albany news conference on Wednesday was Senator Jennifer Metzger (D, Rosendale), who noted her home county of Ulster has such a ban.

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

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

Meteor lights up Florida sky
Officials said they haven't received any reports of where the meteor possibly landed or if it broke up in the atmosphere. Residents in Georgia and SC also reported seeing the flash.

Another said, "I hate it". "But I'm glad we're doing it now and leading the way".

"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.

The budget also will include a new tax on prescription opioids. Under the plan, localities can choose to charge the fee.

Lawmakers have also agreed on a measure that would close two yet-to-be-determined state prisons.

Local governments would keep 2 cents from the fee, while 3 cents would go to the New York Environmental Protection Fund. "I'm exhausted of having to recycle them".

The budget plan increases education aid and makes changes to the way school funding is distributed. Leaders say they will tackle that and other remaining issues in the rest of the session. He said he would make the budget late, if lawmakers did not come to final agreement on public campaign finance reform. Cuomo said Friday that lawmakers need more time to work out the details to regulation.

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