State moves to override city shopping bag fee

State lawmakers in Albany are taking on New York City's plan to charge a 5 cent fee for each single use grocery store bag.

State lawmakers in Albany are taking on New York City's plan to charge a 5 cent fee for each single use grocery store bag. (6/8/16)

BROOKLYN - State lawmakers in Albany are taking on New York City's plan to charge a 5-cent fee for each single-use grocery store bag.

As the city prepared to begin to charge the fee, the state Senate passed a bill that would outlaw such surcharges.

Advocates for the fee say that reducing reliance on single-use bags will help the environment. 

Some shoppers, like Brooklyn resident Roma Butts, say they wouldn't mind paying the fee if it would help the environment.

"It's our kids' future," Butts says.

Opponents say it's too much of a burden on low-income families.

"People in New York, in particular in Brooklyn, struggle every day to make ends meet, take care of their family, earn a living," says state Sen. Simcha Felder. "They don't need government irritating them."

Normally, after the state Senate passes a bill, it would go to the state Assembly and then potentially to the governor's desk.

But the City Council and state lawmakers agreed to delay the city law's implementation from October until February so that both sides can have further discussions.

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