Thursday, February 05, 2009

No Deposits, No Return

The Politicker has weighed in on the removal of the bottle bill from the deficit reduction package: "Conspicuously absent from the deficit reduction package done yesterday: a proposed expansion of the bottle deposits. What once seemed like a done deal, a popular fix to a revenue problem, is headed for a dog fight in the State Senate. Majority Leader Malcolm Smith said he remains "uncommitted" on the bill, let) alone making it a legislative priority."

And the web site also gives us credit in this outcome: "Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist who opposes the bottle bill, claimed the omission from the deficit reduction plan as a victory. Lipsky is close to State Senator Carl Kruger, who now chairs the finance committee, and walked away from me saying he had nothing to do with the bill when I asked him about it the other day."

It is becoming apparent that ethnic considerations may also play a role in the ultimate disposition of the deposit issue: "Opposition to the bill is now being couched along ethnic lines, and it is expected that several Hispanic lawmakers - two of whom, State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. and State Senator Pedro Espada Jr., stood with Kruger in the struggle over senate leadership -- will come out against it."

Whatever the outcome, however, the "done deal" aspect of all this has certainly come apart at the seems-and the dog fight in the senate is almost inevitable since the Majority Leader has remained lukewarm to the measure. The opponents are definitely engaged on this, and we plan to make this a senator by senator battle on the bill's danger to neighborhood business.