senate Bill S1532

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Establishes the "Nickels for Nature Act"

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to environmental conservation
Jan 09, 2013 referred to environmental conservation

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S1532 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Environmental Conservation
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 27 Title 27 §27-2710, En Con L; add §13.33, Pks & Rec L; add §99-u, St Fin L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S5885A

S1532 - Bill Texts

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Establishes the "Nickels for Nature Act" requiring retailers to charge a five cent surcharge for every single use carryout bag which the retailer provides to customers to carry their purchases and provides a single five cent rebate to customers who provide at least one bag to carry their purchases.

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BILL NUMBER:S1532

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the environmental conservation law, the parks, recreation and
historic preservation law, and the state finance law, in relation to
enacting the "nickels for nature" act

PURPOSE:
To establish a comprehensive program that provides a dedicated funding
stream for our state parks and historic sites and to incentivize
individuals to increase their utilization of reusable bags for the
purpose of mitigating the harmful effects caused by the use and
production of
single use bags.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Nickels
for Nature act".

Section 2: Legislative findings and intent.

Section 3: Title 27 of article 27 of the environmental conservation
law, as added by chapter 641 of the laws of 2008, is amended by
adding a new section 27-2710. This added section establishes a five
cent surcharge on single use bags and explains how the program shall
function. Additionally, the distribution of the collected surcharge
is separated into two separate used. Two cents of each five cent
surcharge imposed shall remain, untaxed, with the retailer and the
state shall collect three cents to be placed into the "nickels for
nature" fund. This section also contains definitions and creates a
schedule of punishments.

Section 4: Amends the parks, recreation and historic preservation law
by adding a new section 13.33 which creates the "nickels for nature"
fund. Authorizes utilization of such funds for capital expenditures.

Section 5: Amends the state finance law by adding a new section 99-u
to grant custody of funds to the commissioner of taxation and
finance. Restricts the co-mingling of such funds with any other
moneys in the custody of the commissioner of taxation and finance or
any usage of such funds without the authority of the commissioner of
the office of parks, recreation and historic preservation or his or
her designee.

Section 6: Effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
State parks and historic sites provide an indispensable asset to our
greater community in terms of both economical and educational

benefits. Without appropriate maintenance the parks and historical
sites will fall into a state of disrepair rendering them
inaccessible. Accordingly, state parks and historic sites should be
provided with the necessary capital funding to allow for their
continued use and enjoyment. Moreover, singe use bags, both paper and
plastic, have a direct negative impact on the environment. Littering
our communities, filling our landfills, harming wildlife, and using
an already scarce resource of fossil fuels during their production.
An economic incentive to discourage the unnecessary use of single use
bags will help mitigate the aforementioned harmful effects.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2012: Referred to Environmental Conservation; Amended and recommitted
to Environmental Conservation print number 5885A
2010-2011: Referred to Committee on Rules

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1532

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. PERKINS, DILAN, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environ-
  mental Conservation

AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law,  the  parks,  recre-
  ation  and  historic  preservation  law, and the state finance law, in
  relation to enacting the "nickels for nature" act

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  This  act shall be known and may be cited as the "Nickels
for Nature act".
  S 2. Legislative  findings  and  intent.  The  legislature  finds  and
declares  that  state  parks and historic sites provide an indispensable
asset to our greater community, in terms  of  both  the  economical  and
educational benefits. Without appropriate maintenance the aforementioned
parks  and historical sites may fall into a state of disrepair rendering
them inaccessible. Accordingly, state parks and historic sites should be
provided with the necessary capital funding to allow for their continued
and uninterrupted use.
  The legislature also finds and declares that  single  use  bags,  both
paper  and plastic, distributed by New York retailers has a direct nega-
tive impact on the environment, littering our communities,  filling  our
landfills,  harming  wildlife,  and  using  an  extreme amount of fossil
fuels. Recognizing that urgency of this matter  the  legislature  recom-
mends that an economic incentive be put in place to encourage the use of
reusable bags.
  It  is  hereby  declared  to  be  the public policy and in the  public
interest of this state to establish a comprehensive program to provide a
dedicated funding stream for our state parks and historic sites. Such  a
dedicated funding stream should be devoted as supplemental to the exist-
ing budget of the office of parks, recreation and historic preservation.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04203-01-3

S. 1532                             2

The  funding  stream  should  be  created by imposing a five cent fee on
single use bags as  well  as  a  rebate  program  where  funds  will  be
collected  and  used  to fund capital projects in state parks as well as
necessary  and appropriate maintenance. In order to preserve and improve
the system of state parks and historic sites, the "Nickels  for  Nature"
surcharge  on single use carryout bags and the "Nickels for Nature" fund
are hereby established.
  S 3. Title 27 of article 27 of the environmental conservation law,  as
added  by  chapter  641  of the laws of 2008, is amended by adding a new
section 27-2710 to read as follows:
S 27-2710. SURCHARGE ON SINGLE USE CARRYOUT BAGS.
  1. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER TAX, FEE OR  SURCHARGE  IMPOSED  BY  THIS
ARTICLE  OR  ANY  OTHER  LAW, THERE IS HEREBY IMPOSED AND THERE SHALL BE
PAID A FIVE CENT SURCHARGE ON EACH SINGLE USE CARRYOUT BAG PROVIDED TO A
CUSTOMER BY A  RETAILER  REQUIRED  TO  COLLECT  TAX  IN  A  STORE  FRONT
LOCATION.  TWO  CENTS  OF EACH FIVE CENT SURCHARGE IMPOSED SHALL REMAIN,
UNTAXED, WITH THE RETAILER AND THE STATE SHALL COLLECT THREE CENTS TO BE
PLACED INTO THE NICKELS FOR NATURE FUND ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO  SECTION
NINETY-NINE-U  OF  THE  STATE  FINANCE  LAW; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE
RETAILER SHALL PROVIDE A REBATE OF FIVE CENTS TO THE CUSTOMER WHERE  THE
CUSTOMER  PROVIDES  HIS OR HER OWN BAGS TO CONTAIN HIS OR HER PURCHASES.
THE REBATE SHALL BE LIMITED TO ONE FIVE  CENT  REBATE  PER  TRANSACTION,
REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF BAGS THE CUSTOMER PROVIDES.
  2. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION:
  (A)  "SINGLE  USE  CARRYOUT  BAG"  SHALL  MEAN  A PAPER OR PLASTIC BAG
PROVIDED TO A CUSTOMER AT THE POINT OF SALE BY A  RETAILER  REQUIRED  TO
COLLECT  TAX IN A STORE FRONT LOCATION AND INTENDED FOR A SINGLE USE FOR
CARRYING TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY PURCHASED. SINGLE USE  CARRYOUT  BAG
SHALL  NOT  INCLUDE  BAGS  USED BY CUSTOMERS INSIDE STORES AS PRODUCT OR
PRODUCE BAGS INCLUDING:
  (I) BAGS THAT COME IN CONTACT DIRECTLY WITH THE PRODUCT;
  (II) BAGS USED TO CONTAIN FOODS, SUCH AS MEAT, POULTRY, FISH, OR OTHER
PRODUCTS,  PRIMARILY  TO  PREVENT  LEAKAGE  OR  CONTAMINATION  OF  OTHER
PRODUCTS;
  (III)  FLOWERS,  POTTED  PLANTS OR OTHER ITEMS WHERE DAMPNESS MAY BE A
PROBLEM;
  (IV) BAGS PROVIDED BY PHARMACISTS TO CONTAIN PRESCRIPTION DRUGS; OR
  (V) NEWSPAPER BAGS, DOOR-HANGER BAGS, DRY CLEANING BAGS, OR BAGS  SOLD
IN  PACKAGES CONTAINING MULTIPLE BAGS, SUCH AS THOSE INTENDED FOR USE AS
GARBAGE, PET WASTE, OR YARD WASTE BAGS.
  (B) "REUSABLE BAG" SHALL MEAN A BAG WITH HANDLES THAT IS  SPECIFICALLY
DESIGNED  AND  MANUFACTURED  FOR  MULTIPLE  REUSE  AND  MEETS ALL OF THE
FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
  (I) HAS A MINIMUM LIFETIME OF ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE USES, WHICH  FOR
THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, MEANS THE CAPABILITY OF CARRYING A MINIMUM
OF TWENTY-TWO POUNDS ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE TIMES OVER A DISTANCE OF AT
LEAST ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE FEET;
  (II)  IS  MACHINE  WASHABLE  OR  IS  MADE  FROM A MATERIAL THAT CAN BE
CLEANED OR DISINFECTED;
  (III) DOES NOT CONTAIN LEAD, CADMIUM, OR  ANY  OTHER  HEAVY  METAL  IN
TOXIC  AMOUNTS, AS DEFINED BY APPLICABLE STATE AND FEDERAL STANDARDS AND
REGULATIONS FOR PACKAGING OR REUSABLE BAGS;
  (IV) HAS PRINTED ON THE BAG, OR ON A TAG THAT PERMANENTLY  AFFIXED  TO
THE  BAG,  THE  NAME OF THE MANUFACTURER, THE LOCATION WHERE THE BAG WAS
MANUFACTURED, A STATEMENT THAT THE BAG DOES NOT CONTAIN  LEAD,  CADMIUM,
OR ANY OTHER HEAVY METAL IN TOXIC AMOUNTS; AND

S. 1532                             3

  (V) IS MADE OF PLASTIC THAT IS A MINIMUM OF AT LEAST 2.25 MILS THICK.
  3. RETAILERS IN STORE FRONT LOCATIONS ARE HEREBY REQUIRED TO COLLECT A
SURCHARGE  OF  FIVE CENTS FOR EACH SINGLE USE CARRYOUT BAG PROVIDED TO A
CONSUMER BY THE  RETAILER;  PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT  IF  THE  CONSUMER
PROVIDES  ANY  BAG,  WHETHER  REUSABLE  OR  NOT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO ONE
REBATE OF FIVE CENTS PER TRANSACTION, REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER  OF  BAGS
THE  CONSUMER  PROVIDES.  THE RETAILER SHALL ALSO BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE
REUSABLE BAGS, AS DEFINED BY THIS SECTION, FOR PURCHASE AT A  REASONABLE
PRICE AND SHALL CLEARLY DISPLAY THE BAG SURCHARGE AND REBATE POLICY. THE
SURCHARGES  RETAINED  BY THE RETAILER PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL NOT
BE CLASSIFIED AS REVENUE AND SHALL BE TAX EXEMPT.
  4. (A) EVERY RETAILER REQUIRED TO COLLECT  THE  FEE  IMPOSED  BY  THIS
SECTION  SHALL  COLLECT THE FEE FROM THE CUSTOMER AT THE TIME THE SINGLE
USE CARRYOUT BAG IS PROVIDED. IF THE CUSTOMER IS  GIVEN  A  SALES  SLIP,
INVOICE,  RECEIPT,  OR  OTHER  STATEMENT  OR  MEMORANDUM OF THE PRICE OR
CHARGE OF THE PURCHASE, SUCH DOCUMENT SHALL STATE THE NUMBER  OF  SINGLE
USE  CARRYOUT  BAGS  PROVIDED  TO THE CUSTOMER AND THE AMOUNT OF THE FEE
IMPOSED BY THIS SECTION, ALONG WITH ANY REBATE FOR PROVIDING A  BAG,  AS
SHOWN  SEPARATELY  FROM THE PURCHASE PRICE OR CHARGE AND SEPARATELY FROM
ANY OTHER FEE OR TAX IMPOSED BY ANY OTHER LAW.
  (B) EVERY RETAILER REQUIRED TO COLLECT THE FEE IMPOSED BY THIS SECTION
SHALL COLLECT AND RETAIN FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS INFORMATION RELATED
TO THE SURCHARGES AND REBATES OF SINGLE USE CARRYOUT BAGS.
  5. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS SECTION:
  (A) FOR THE FIRST VIOLATION, A WRITTEN WARNING SHALL BE ISSUED TO  THE
RETAILER  THAT A VIOLATION HAS OCCURRED. NO FINE SHALL BE ISSUED FOR THE
FIRST VIOLATION.
  (B) FOR ANY SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION,  WHERE  THE  RETAILER  CONTINUES  TO
VIOLATE  THE  REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ACT SUBSEQUENT TO RECEIVING A WRITTEN
WARNING, THE COMPTROLLER SHALL ISSUE A FINE TO THE RETAILER  IN  ACCORD-
ANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE:
  (I)  UP  TO  ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR THE FIRST VIOLATION IN A CALENDAR
YEAR;
  (II) UP TO TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR THE SECOND VIOLATION  IN  THE  SAME
CALENDAR YEAR; AND
  (III)  UP TO FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR EACH ADDITIONAL VIOLATION IN THE
SAME CALENDAR YEAR.
  (C) NO MORE THAN ONE FINE SHALL BE ISSUED TO  A  RETAIL  ESTABLISHMENT
WITHIN A SEVEN-DAY PERIOD.
  (D)  PAYMENT  OF  FINES  SHALL BE RECEIVED BY THE COMPTROLLER NO LATER
THAN FIFTEEN CALENDAR DAYS FROM RECEIVING THE PENALTY. IF PAYMENT OF ANY
FINES DUE UNDER THIS SECTION IS NOT RECEIVED BY OR BEFORE THE DUE  DATE,
A  PENALTY  SHALL  BE  ADDED.  INTEREST  OF ONE-HALF OF ONE PERCENT WILL
ACCRUE EVERY MONTH, COMPOUNDED MONTHLY, AFTER THE DUE DATE HAS PASSED.
  (E) REVENUES COLLECTED FOR VIOLATION OF THIS ACT SHALL  ONLY  BE  USED
FOR  ENFORCEMENT  COSTS INCLUDING HIRING INSPECTORS AND OTHER STAFF, AND
ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ENFORCEMENT OF THIS ACT.
  S 4. The parks, recreation and historic preservation law is amended by
adding a new section 13.33 to read as follows:
  S 13.33 NICKELS FOR NATURE FUNDS. THE COMMISSIONER  IS  AUTHORIZED  TO
UTILIZE FUNDS DEPOSITED INTO THE NICKELS FOR NATURE FUND, AS ESTABLISHED
PURSUANT  TO SECTION NINETY-NINE-U OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW, FOR CAPITAL
EXPENDITURES AT STATE PARKS AND HISTORIC SITES.
  S 5. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 99-u  to
read as follows:

S. 1532                             4

  S 99-U. NICKELS FOR NATURE FUND. 1. THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED IN THE
CUSTODY OF THE COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION AND FINANCE A SPECIAL ACCOUNT TO
BE KNOWN AS THE "NICKELS FOR NATURE FUND".
  2.  ALL  MONIES  RECEIVED  BY THE COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION AND FINANCE
PURSUANT TO SECTION 27-2710 OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION  LAW  AND
ANY OTHER REVENUES COLLECTED FOR OR APPROPRIATED TO THE FUND PURSUANT TO
ANY  OTHER LAW SHALL BE DEPOSITED HEREIN TO THE EXCLUSIVE CREDIT OF SUCH
FUND ACCOUNT. SAID MONEYS SHALL  BE  KEPT  SEPARATE  AND  SHALL  NOT  BE
COMMINGLED  WITH  ANY OTHER MONEYS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE COMMISSIONER OF
TAXATION AND FINANCE. NO MONIES MAY BE TRANSFERRED FROM THIS ACCOUNT  TO
ANY  OTHER  ACCOUNT  EXCEPT  BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSIONER OF THE
OFFICE OF PARKS, RECREATION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION.
  3. THE MONEYS IN SAID ACCOUNT SHALL BE RETAINED BY THE FUND AND  SHALL
BE  RELEASED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION AND FINANCE ONLY AS AUTHOR-
IZED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF PARKS, RECREATION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION,
OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE AND ONLY FOR THE PURPOSES SET  FORTH  IN  SECTION
13.33 OF THE PARKS, RECREATION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION LAW.
  S 6. This act shall take effect immediately.

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