Monday, June 23, 2008

Prediction: No Vote on Bigger Bottle Bill

It doesn't take a psychic to know this much: controversial votes just don't take place in Albany. So here's a prediction. The "Bigger, Better, Bottle Bill" -- pushed by environmentalists for years -- won't come to a vote in the Senate before they wrap up business for the session this week.

The bill would extend New York's 5-cent container deposit law to plastic bottles holding water, iced tea and other beverages. Many environmentalists believe the bill will dramatically reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in our landfills, rivers and parks -- and instead will be recycled. A recent survey indicates that 70% of New Yorkers support the bill.

The Senate has refused to vote on this bill for years. Would it pass if it came to a vote? Who knows? Given public support for the bill, it would be very hard for some Senators to vote against it -- but that's the beauty of controlling a legislative chamber in Albany. It's almost never necessary to cast a difficult vote.

There may be very good reasons for opposing this bill, but we won't get to hear those reasons this week, let alone a debate or a vote on the bill in the Senate. Someone important apparently opposes it, and that's enough to ensure no discussion, no debate and no vote.

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