New York – State Senator Liz Krueger released the following statement today following passage in the Senate of S362, which would overturn New York City’s law placing a 5-cent fee on disposable carryout bags:

“New York State is facing unprecedented environmental challenges — from climate change, to poisoned water, to failing infrastructure, the list goes on and on. Yet for their very first environmental bill of the year, the Senate Majority Coalition has chosen to do the bidding of corporate special interests and overturn New York City’s plastic bag fee. If this bill becomes law, it will set a shameful and dangerous precedent that local solutions to local environmental issues will be vetoed in Albany.

“The New York City council considered this bill for more than two years, holding several public hearings, meetings in Members’ districts, a committee vote, and a majority vote of the full Council. It’s final passage was the result of a functional democratic process, with full debate and compromise. In contrast, S362 passed in the State Senate without a single committee vote or hearing this year.

“The evidence shows that New York City’s bag fee is a proven and effective policy for reducing pollution. Cities and countries around the world have enacted similar laws, and over a dozen localities in New York State have done the same. All of New York State’s leading environmental organizations support it. If the Legislature is unable or unwilling to tackle pollution in our state, they should at least get out of the way so local people can solve their own problems.”