Gov. Andrew Cuomo and fellow Democrats who control the Legislature have reached a deal to make NY the third state with a ban on single-use plastic grocery bags as they worked to finalize budget agreements, officials said Friday.
Lawmakers plan to begin passing budget bills Sunday in an all-day session.
HEALTH CARE: Increases state spending on Medicaid and other health care programs by $700 million to $19.6 billion, and codifies the federal Affordable Care Act and the state's Health Exchange into state law. The ban would exempt certain types of plastic bags for restaurants, deli or meat counter products, garments and trash bags.
"I am proud to announce that together, we got it done", Cuomo said.
A congestion-pricing plan for Manhattan is taking shape, and lawmakers are still considering whether to impose a pied-à-terre tax for non-primary residential luxury apartments in New York City worth over $5 million, or instead substitute a real estate transfer tax on sale of homes worth more than $5 million.
Another said, "I hate it".
A plastic water bottle and plastic bags are seen discarded with other garbage in a corner trash can in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, Wednesday, March 27, 2019 in NY.
Schmear Campaign: New Yorkers Roast Bread-Sliced Bagel
New York City's 311 service tweeted out "real New Yorkers know there is only one way to slice a bagel". The city's 311 information Twitter account even chimed in on the debate Wednesday.
Heastie differed a bit with the Senate leader's assessment on the chances of public campaign finance being in the final budget. New York's environmental advocates have also echoed this concern.
Lawmakers have also agreed on a measure that would close two yet-to-be-determined state prisons.
Additionally, the ban would be combined with another component, a five-cent fee on paper bags.
There has been a fair amount of backlash from small businesses and trade groups that argue the changes are untenable for small and independent grocery stores, attempting to stay competitive against big box rivals, according to the New York Times.
Major issues that didn't make it into the spending plan include legalization of recreational marijuana. Cuomo and party leaders have said the issue is too complex to rush.
Lawmakers met behind closed doors at the Capitol Saturday to finalize agreements on various aspects of the budget.
"Doing the right budget is more important than doing on time", said Cuomo.