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Plastic Bag Bill Defeated

The California State Senate voted against an Assembly bill to ban plastic bags yesterday.

It received just 14 votes from the 40-member body, lacking the 21 needed for approval.  

If passed, the Democratic bill would have been the first statewide ban for plastic bags.  

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Sen. George Runner voted against the bill, saying this wasn’t a good time for big government to step in and put more strain on California businesses.  

According to Runner, the next challenge is with Los Angeles County potentially passing the same sort of ban.  

“My opinion is then to fight it out on the local government level,” said Runner. “You don’t need the state to step in and be the big arbitrator.”   Some California cities already have ordinances banning plastic bans, including San Francisco, Palo Alto, Malibu and Fairfax.  

The failed bill was victim to much lobbying by the Virginia-based American Chemistry Council, which represents plastic bag manufacturers Dow Chemical Co. and ExxonMobil Corp.  

While the bill’s carrier Sen. Gil Cedillo said it presented California the opportunity set a global trend, the chemical lobby argued that several hundred state manufacturing jobs would be lost.  

In the end, the legislature felt the state was going too far in trying to regulate personal choice when shopping.