“Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing. Nobody listens — and then everybody disagrees.”
By Alden Benton
Proposition 65 seeks to redistribute the money received through sale of retail carry out bags to a fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board.
According to the California Legislative Analyst, retailers provide more than 15 billion single-use paper and plastic carry out bags to their customers each year. Many cities ban these bags or require charging at least 10 cents per bag.
However, in 2014 the legislature passed a statewide carryout bag law that prohibits most grocery stores, convenience stores, large pharmacies, and liquor stores in the state from providing single-use plastic carryout bags. It also requires a store to charge customers at least 10 cents for any carryout bag that it provides at checkout. Under this law, stores would retain the revenue from the sale of the bags.
Proposition 65 requires that the revenue from the bag sale surcharge be deposited in a new Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund (EPHF). Retailers no longer keep the bag surcharge.
The EPHF will support grants for programs and projects related to:
- Drought mitigation,
- Clean drinking water supplies,
- State, regional, and local parks,
- Beach cleanup,
- Litter removal, and
- Wildlife habitat restoration.
Proposition 65 may be affected by another measure on the ballot — Proposition 67.
According to the legislative analyst, if both Proposition 65 and 67 pass, the effect depends upon which measure receives more yes votes. If Proposition 65 receives more yes votes then the revenue goes to the EPHF. If Proposition 67 receives more yes votes then the retailers keep the funds.
If both measures fail, there will be no statewide carryout bag law.
If Proposition 65 passes and Proposition 67 fails, there will be no statewide bag law but funds from any future bag law would go to environmental funds.
If Proposition 65 fails, and Proposition 67 passes, the statewide carry out bag law remains in effect and the stores keep the revenue.
© 2016 A. L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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