California plastic bag ban suspended

Feb 24, 2015 1:47 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The secretary of state's office says a referendum seeking to repeal California's statewide ban on plastic bags has qualified for the November 2016 ballot.

Bill Mabie, chief deputy in the secretary of state's office, said Tuesday that proponents had more than 555,000 valid signatures. The trade group seeking the referendum needed 505,000 valid signatures to qualify.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the ban last fall, and it was scheduled to be phased in starting in July at large supermarkets. But the referendum suspends the ban until voters weigh in on November 2016.

The American Progressive Bag Alliance said the ban amounts to a cash giveaway to grocers that would lead to a loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs. The group says Californians can now decide.

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