Love it or hate it, you won't find California's new statewide ban on plastic bags taking effect this year ... or ever, unless voters endorse it in November 2016.
State elections officials announced Tuesday that plastic bag manufacturers have gathered enough voter signatures to force a statewide vote via referendum at the next general election.
"California voters will now have the chance to vote down a terrible law," said Lee Califf of the American Progressive Bag Alliance in a prepared statement.
The referendum, filed just days after Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 270 into law last Sept. 30, would give voters a chance to cancel the hotly debated law. The law would have gone into effect on July 1, and would have imposed a 10-cent fee on paper or other reusable bags. While the bill cleared a number of tricky political hurdles in making its way through the Legislature, the plastic bag industry never supported it.
In all, bag manufacturers spent more than $3.1 million to gather 809,810 signatures to force a vote on the ballot. Environmental and recycling groups lashed out Monday at the news that the referendum had qualified. Opponents argue the law is bad for the economy -- lost bag-manufacturing jobs -- and simply bad policy.