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State Budget Nears Completion as Deadline Looms Sunday Night

State Budget Nears Completion as Deadline Looms Sunday Night

NY is only the second state to ban single-use plastic bags, following in the footsteps of California, which imposed its plastic bag ban in 2014. The state's new fiscal year begins Monday.

Lawmakers met behind closed doors at the Capitol Saturday to finalize agreements on various aspects of the budget.

If passed, NY would be the second state after California to enforce a plastic bag ban. Hawaii has an effective statewide ban that allows the state's four counties to set its own restrictions.

Under the new legislation, NY counties would be able to levy a five-cent tax on paper bags, with part of the resulting revenue going to an environmental-protection fund. "While the best policy would be a ban on plastic bags coupled with a statewide fee on other disposable bags, this agreement represents a tremendous step forward".

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been attempting to pass the measure since he first brought it up during last year's budget battle.

"The idea is to not go from plastic to paper, but to go from plastic to reusable bags and we think the state is going to make that transition and it's going to be a meaningful thing to get all the plastic out of our environment", Kaminsky said. It'll all begin March 1st, 2020.

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Other agreements in the budget include the closure of up to three state prisons, eliminating cash bail for misdemeanor and nonviolent felony arrests, a permanent 2% cap on local property taxes and another $1bn for public education.

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.

Lawmakers are pushing for additional reforms to the criminal justice system and ethics requirements in state government as well.

Some items appear to be definitely out of the budget, including legalizing recreational marijuana for adults. Cuomo said Friday that lawmakers need more time to work out the details to regulation.

Revenue from the tax would go to transit.


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