New York – State Senator Liz Krueger released the following statement today after Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed A4883/S4158, which will overturn New York City’s five cent fee on carryout bags:
“I am extremely disappointed that Governor Cuomo chose to sign S4158 and override a proven environmental law enacted by a local elected body. Yesterday, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos told legislators at a budget hearing that plastic bag pollution is a scourge across the state. New York City had an effective solution to that scourge, and they were ready to implement it tomorrow; instead, Albany has chosen to kick the bag down the road.
“Now that the Legislature has yet again made a mess of things, it’s up to us to clean it up. We must either work with the city — in good faith — to replace their law, or come up with a statewide solution to the 23 billion bags used by New Yorkers every year. Either way, it is vital that we engage in a process that is at least as thorough and well-researched as the City Council’s, with a solution that is based on the best science and data, not on the needs of the plastic bag and fossil fuel industries.
“S4158 has set a dangerous precedent that local solutions to local environmental issues will be overturned in Albany. This is simply unacceptable. If the Legislature is unable or unwilling to tackle the unprecedented environmental challenges we face, they should at least get out of the way so local people can solve their own problems.”