Though lawmakers were optimistic about the Prince George’s bag tax passing—and it received near-unanimous support from the county council—thanks to the Maryland General Assembly, it seems like the bill is dunzo for now:
The bill needed broader support from the Prince George’s House delegation county affairs committee to win approval but fell short on a 3-2 vote. Prince George’s Dels. Carolyn Howard and James Proctor, both Democrats, voted no. Voting for the measure besides Frush were Dels. Jolene Ivey and Justin Ross. Del. Veronica Turner (D) was absent. The measure can come before the panel two more times, and the full delegation could take it up even without the panel’s endorsement.
On Tuesday, the Prince George’s County Council voted 8-0 with one member abstaining to endorse the bill, which first needs approval in Annapolis before the council could enact the bag tax. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) had also backed the bill. Intense lobbying from plastic bag manufacturers operating as the American Chemistry Council helped scuttle the measure. Opponents of the bill said they worried that it could hurt low-income residents.
Photo by Mr. T In D.C. via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License
(Correction: Due to a reporting error, this post originally misidentified the legislature involved.)