BALTIMORE (Scrap Monster): The Baltimore mayor has vetoed a City ordinance to ban plastic retail bags. In a letter addressed to the City Council, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake expressed her disagreement with the way in which the bill was passed. The bill which had initially proposed 5-cent fee on plastic bags was altered to an outright ban at the last minute. The bill with the change was passed by 11-1 vote by the City Council.
Earlier, a key Committee of the Baltimore Council has voted Wednesday on the legislation to impose 5 cents fee on plastic bags distributed at supermarkets and other retail outlets. Certain members had raised concerns about the fees, saying that imposition of fees would lead to financial burden on families. The mayor, who had earlier supported the bill, had then stated that she would decide whether to support or oppose the bill after the final bill is crafted.
Overriding the veto requires support of three-quarters of the Council members, the chances of which look very remote, sources said. Baltimore would have become one of the first cities in the East Coast region to ban plastic grocery bags, if the ordinance was signed off by the mayor.
The bill, if passed, was to take effect on April 1st, 2015.
It must be noted that California had signed the landmark plastic bag ban bill on September 30th, imposing state-wide ban on the use of single-use plastic shopping bags at check-out counters at grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and liquor shops.