Fee Set at Ten Cents, But Passage Not Yet In The Bag

Flickr: kouk

The Hawaii Senate and House have bridged the biggest gap between their differing versions of what would be the nation's first statewide fee on single-use checkout bags.

But passage is still not in the bag.

"I clearly feel this bill is going to go down to the wire tomorrow," House Environmental Protection Committee Chair Denny Coffman told Civil Beat Thursday. "I don't expect to know until the close of business tomorrow."

Senate Environment Committee Chair Mike Gabbard started Thursday's conference committee hearing with a concession to Coffman's demands: "We are willing to go along with the 10 cents."

The amount of the per-bag fee had been a sticking point. The original version introduced by Gabbard in the Senate sought a 25-cent fee, and the version passed out of Coffman's Environmental Protection Committee had it set at just 5 cents. The final House version featured a 10-cent fee, and that was the amount Coffman had been sticking to during negotiations.

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