Monday, April 30, 2012

Contrary to Media Buzz, Bottle Bill Still Alive

News Release

BOSTON—As Mark Twain once said, “Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Contrary to some news reports about the Massachusetts House of Representatives budget deliberations, the Updated Bottle Bill WAS NOT voted down during the budget debate. While over 800 amendments to the budget were filed last week, and the Updated Bottle Bill was among those amendments, the vast majority of those amendments never saw the light of day. The amendment that included the Updated Bottle Bill was among those never considered by the members of the House of Representatives.

But, this serves as an important reminder that the bill, H890/S1650, is pending in the Telecom Utilities and Energy (TUE) committee. The committee has procrastinated past the March 21, 2012 legislative deadline. Action on this proposal, which would cut down on litter and increase recycling, has been delayed by the Legislature for over a decade, and the public is understandably impatient.

The Updated Bottle Bill enjoys the support of 77% of the public, according to a poll conducted by the MassINC Polling Group, and 208 cities and towns have endorsed it, as have 375 small businesses. The bill needs to be released from the TUE Committee and brought up for a vote now.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Bottle Bill Vote High Priority for Local Municipalities

208th Town Endorses HB890/SB1650

News Release - Monday, April 9, 2012

Falmouth - On Thursday, April 5, the town of Falmouth became the 208th municipality in Massachusetts to pass a resolution endorsing the Updated Bottle Bill (HB890/SB1650). The bill would add water, juice, and other containers to those beverage containers which already have a 5 cent deposit. “ This was a long battle that involved bringing it before the Board of Selectmen twice, getting a warrant article issued, attending precinct meetings, getting our message out, and sitting through 15 hours of Town Meeting until the article was taken up for vote. But we did it,” said Janet Kluever, a Falmouth resident who has taken on this issue for the Falmouth Climate Action Team. A statewide poll conducted by MassINC Polling Group last year showed 77% support of the Updated Bottle Bill, with particularly high numbers for coastal areas.

Frustration with the Legislature, which has been sitting on this bill for over a decade, is mounting, and municipal actions like this are aimed at prompting legislative action. Falmouth is represented in the Legislature by Rep. Tim Madden, a longtime supporter of the bill, Rep. David Viera, who has not endorsed the bill, and Senate President Therese Murray who has not endorsed the bill. “We hope our elected officials now see clearly that this issue is a priority for Falmouth residents,” said Kluever. “This bill will reduce litter on our beaches, and save Falmouth thousands of dollars in trash disposal costs.”

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