Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown says he ‘probably will’ sign plastic bag ban

Providing rare guidance on his plans for legislation awaiting his signature, Gov. Jerry Brown indicated Thursday night that he “probably will” sign the proposed ban on single-use plastic bags, one of the year’s most heavily debated bills.

“There are about 50 cities with their own plastic bag ban, and that’s causing a lot of confusion,” Brown said during his debate with Republican gubernatorial challenger Neel Kashkari. “This is a compromise that’s taken into account the needs of the environment and the needs of the economy and the needs of the grocers.”

“On balance, this will protect the environment,” he added, “but at the same time, we’re doing it in a very standard way that will not disrupt business in California.”

The bag ban bill passed late last Friday during the Legislature’s end-of-session push as lawmakers reached a compromise on a controversial proposal that fell short last year. The legislation would make California first in the nation to implement a statewide ban on what are called single-use plastic bags and allow grocery stores to offer paper or reusable plastic bags for a fee.

Plastic bag manufacturers, who could apply for $2 million in loans to retrofit their operations or retrain workers, lobbied heavily against the legislation.

With a swift rebuttal to Brown, Kashkari said, “No chance would I sign that bill.”

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