After a lengthy day of testimony, the plastics bill (S2776) moved out of the Senate Environmental and Energy Committee on January 30th by a vote of 3-0-2. For those not familiar with legislative score-keeping, that’s three yes, zero no, and two abstain. The bill would ban throw-away plastic bags, Styrofoam carry-out food containers, and plastic straws. Senator Kip Bateman, who represents a large portion of our watershed, was one of the abstentions. The bill moves on in the Senate, although it’s unclear yet whether it will be referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for a hearing before it gets a floor vote. Efforts by industry lobbyists to water down the bill continue, and we need to be vigilant to keep that from happening.
There is no companion bill in the Assembly yet. The Assembly was an obstacle to passing the bill during the last legislative session. When the bill is introduced in the Assembly we will need your help to press them to pass it promptly. Our goal is to have a good bill on the Governor’s desk by Earth Day 2020.