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Plastic-bag ban up for state senate vote

August 31, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A cliffhanger in Sacramento Tuesday over the fate of a bill to ban plastic shopping bags: After a hard-fought battle, the state senate was expected to vote Tuesday night.Opponents mounted a major lobbying campaign trying to stop the ban on plastic bags.

The state Senate was scheduled to vote Tuesday on Assembly Bill 1998 Tuesday night.

Supporters of AB 1998 say the 19 billion plastic bags Californians use every year harm the environment and cost the state $25 million annually to collect and transport to landfills.

The ban, if eventually signed into law, would take effect in supermarkets and large retail stores in 2012. It would apply to smaller stores in 2013.

The bill must be rejected or sent to the governor by midnight Tuesday, the final day of the legislative session. Final action was being delayed into the evening by procedural tactics.

The ban, if eventually signed into law, would take effect in supermarkets and large retail stores in 2012. It would apply to smaller stores in 2013.

The bill must be rejected or sent to the governor by midnight Tuesday, the final day of the legislative session. Final action was being delayed into the evening by procedural tactics.

If AB 1998 passes the Senate on Tuesday, the Assembly would have to approve amendments before sending it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk.

After the Assembly passed an earlier version of the measure in June, the Republican governor issued a statement saying he supported a ban on plastic bags in California. However, he has not committed to signing the bill in its current form.

If the measure is defeated, either by the Legislature or a Schwarzenegger veto, some local government officials are ready to take matters into their own hands. According to Heal the Bay, officials in Los Angeles County, Redondo Beach and Santa Monica said they would pursue individual city- and countywide bans in the coming months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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