New York Has New Budget & Plastic Bag Ban
New York State lawmakers have been burning the midnight oil passing a bevy of budget bills following announcement March 31 of agreement on a $175.5 billion spending proposal.
Included in the budget is a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags, a move that supporters say will go a long way in eliminating pollution in waterways and roadside litter.
Governor Andrew Cuomo also gets his 2% cap on local property tax increases that he insisted must be included in a final budget.
The budget bills were expected to meet little resistance on the way to final passage with the Senate and Assembly controlled by Democrats.
Republicans were quick over the weekend to criticize word of agreement on a final spending plan ahead of the April 1 deadline.
Senator Fred Akshar (R. Binghamton) joined others in the GOP in saying the budget fails taxpayers and includes unfunded mandates that will "drastically hamper the viability of local governments.
The Republicans are also blasting cashless bail for criminal cases. Supporters said that measure would erase the privilege of wealth that kept people who had money out of jail while their cases moved through the system but resulted in defendants who didn't have the resources to make bail to sitting in jail. The GOP says cashless bail will let violent criminals onto the street.
The Governor did not get the legalization of recreational marijuana and its associated tax revenue included in the final budget.