Politics

Governor's bill signing spree: California becomes first state to ban plastic bags

California Governor Jerry Brown signs bill AB60 on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall on October 3, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
California Governor Jerry Brown signs bill AB60 on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall on October 3, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

Brown on Tuesday signed the bill by Democratic state Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles.

Plastic bags will be phased out of large grocery stores starting next July and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. The legislation is meant to encourage consumers to bring their own bags and as a way to reduce litter.

The bill preserves more than 100 local plastic bag bans, including in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Grocers support the ban because it sets a statewide standard and allows them to charge consumers a 10 cent fee for using paper bags.

Plastic and paper bag manufacturers opposed to the legislation say it will result in lost manufacturing jobs in California.

The American Progressive Bag Alliance, an industry trade group, hopes to use the initiative process to thwart the law before it takes effect.

By the end of the year, the group plans to collect more than 500,000 signatures on a referendum to overturn the law. If the referendum is certified, the law would be suspended until the issue is put before voters in November 2016.

In a statement, the group said its research indicated the majority of Californians oppose the bag ban.

 

A bill-signing spree

The governor has been busy for the past several days taking action on an assortment of bills that will change the state's school discipline procedures, regulate the ballot initiative process and extend new rights for transgender people, among other things.

He has until the end of Tuesday to decide whether to approve the hundreds of pieces of legislation that have landed on his desk. Here are some highlights of the legislation he has signed so far:

Monday

Sunday

This story has been updated.