| One of the more noteworthy bills this year, a measure that would have banned the use of free plastic bags, got a boost from our outgoing Governor.
The bill to ban plastic grocery bags faced fierce opposition from the Virginia-based interest group American Chemistry Council and died in the Senate this year. Schwarzenegger said the measure might fare better in the current, post-election political climate.
"Of course we fell short a few votes, but we said, 'We'll be back,' and we are back again," Schwarzenegger said at a Capitol press conference. "And if we don't get it done in December, we'll get it done next year."(SacBee)
Now, this bill faced a whole mess of opposition, and the plastics industry was able to kill it amongst the Senate Democratic caucus. Here's the vote totals, but the "ModSquad" was in full effect here. The Dem Noes: Calderon, Correa, Ducheny, Florez, Negrete McLeod, Price, Romero, and Wolk.
I have to say the one that surprises me there is Sen. Wolk. She represents much of the Delta, which is being flooded with these bags, killing scores of wildlife. I'm not privy to her position on the issue, and the defeat of the measure wasn't her doing alone. However, I hope she'll be able to move when it comes up next time.
But of course, the lobbyists aren't going anywhere. When asked about this latest push for the bill, here's the response from the plastics people:
The American Chemistry Council's Tim Shestek was in the crowd for the occasion. While supporters of the ban cheered their prospects for a second round, he said, "This is a bill that's dead."(SacBee)
No, not dead. If China sees that banning plastic bags is in its state interest, surely the state of California can do the same.