Gov. Cuomo: Bag fee deeply flawed

Gov. Cuomo has called the proposed fee on disposable bags in the city

Gov. Cuomo has called the proposed fee on disposable bags in the city "deeply flawed" after signing a bill delaying the city-approved fee. (2/15/17)

NEW YORK - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called the city-approved fee on disposable bags in the city "deeply flawed" after taking measures to delay it. 

The governor made the decision to block the fee yesterday, a day before it was to be enforced in the city.

City leaders approved the 5-cent fee on plastic, paper and some cloth shopping bags as a way to reduce litter. It would have applied to purchases at restaurants and pharmacies and did not have an exemption for food stamp purchases.

However, while the law was an attempt at combating pollution, it had other flaws, Cuomo wrote in a statement.

State lawmakers in both the Assembly and Senate overwhelmingly overruled the city, saying the fee would be a burden on the poor and middle classes. Another criticism is that retailers would have kept the fees as profits, rather than them being spent on the environment.

The fee is now on hold until 2018 at the earliest.

Proponents of the fee on the City Council expressed disappointment with the governor's move.

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