Gov. Andrew Cuomo blocks New York City Council plastic bag fee

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ALBANY, New York -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has blocked New York City Council's fee on non-reusable shopping bags just hours before it was supposed to take effect.

Cuomo on Tuesday approved a measure to forbid the city from placing any fees on disposable shopping bags until at least next year. The state Assembly and Senate both voted to block the 5-cent fee last week.

Cuomo, a Democrat, called the fee "deeply flawed" because it would allow store owners to keep the profit.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had championed the bag fee as a way to reduce litter and protect the environment.

Critics say overruling the city is an example of government overreach.

Cuomo announced a task force to address the environmental impact of plastic bags by the end of the year.