California plastic bag ban stalls in Assembly

08/25/2014 5:58 PM

10/22/2014 2:22 PM

A proposed statewide ban on single-use plastic bags stalled in the California Assembly on Monday, a crucial stumble for one of the of most heavily lobbied fights of the current legislative session.

The measure faltered on a 37-33 vote, falling four votes short of the required 41. A key organized labor group removed its support and went neutral, which helped plastic and paper industries opposed to the bill. In a key late change, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union – grocery store workers – aligned with skeptics denouncing a minimum 10-cent fee stores could charge at checkout counters for paper or reusable bags.

The bill could still be revived this week as the session races to a conclusion on Sunday. “Absolutely, we keep pushing,” Los Angeles Democrat Sen. Alex Padilla said. “I think we got a lot closer on the first effort than many people would have predicted. We have another bite of the apple before the end of the week.”

“This legislation creates a heavy financial burden on consumers and forces consumers to essentially decide how they would like to be taxed,” said Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Marysville. “They can either purchase a reusable bag to take to the store with them or they can spend 10 cents for every recycled bag they get at the store.”

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