In a carefully managed announcement, on the day before it was set to go live, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he signed a bill that killed the plastic bag law passed last year by the City Council and signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The law would have cost you $.05 for using plastic bags for most purchases.
Struggling not to offend environmentalists who strongly favored the local law and fending off criticisms of overreach by Albany, the governor did not criticize the intent of the law.
“I understand the political process to pass a bill can require placating potential opposition, but a $100 million bonus to private companies is beyond the absurd,” he said, emphasizing his objection to the mechanics of the law that would have allowed merchants to keep the fee.
Endorsing the intent of the law, Cuomo promised “a statewide task force to develop a uniform state plan for addressing the plastic bag problem.”
Objections from City Council sponsors of the local law, Brad Lander and Margaret Chin, were swift.
“We fought plastic bags, and for now, plastic bags won,” they said in a joint statement.