Monday, June 15, 2009

Bottle Busting

According to Daily Politics, NYS is challenging Judge Griesa's ruling on the bottle bill: "The state has obtained an emergency hearing next Thursday at 11:30 a.m. on its request to modify the preliminary injunction preventing the Bigger, Better Bottle Bill from being enacted until April 2010. Not only has the attorney general's office, (which is handling the case for the state), asked the court to allow the law, which was supposed to go into effect June 1, to be immediately implemented, but it has also asked for the plaintiff's security bond to be increased from $10,000 to $115 million."

The issue, of course, is the state's loss of revenue from the unredeemed deposits: "That just so happens to be the amount of revenue that expanding the 5-cent deposit to apply to bottled water was expected to generate for state coffers. (According to the state, the tab is $235,000 a day)." So what the AG is arguing here, is that the lawsuit was inappropriately expanded by the judge beyond the scope that Nestle's had asked for-so show us the money.

If the AG can extricate things, then the water issue and the UPC provision would be tabled, but the escheats regulation on the beer and soda would be reinstated. As Cuomo's spokesperson said: "The State's request for an increased bond, which is required by the law, is designed to approximate the revenues that will be lost to the State if it is ultimately found that the Court's injunction was granted in error. Indeed, it appears that the Court granted an injunction far broader than actually sought by Nestle."

So we await the court hearing on Thursday-and can this issue be any more confusing? With the senate in turmoil, and the governor's popularity waning, this becomes another testament to Albany's dysfunction. Can we stand many more of these?