California voters have upheld the state’s single-use plastic bag ban.
The Associated Press says Proposition 67 has passed. It currently holds a 52-to-48 percent lead, or 340,000 votes.
It's a big defeat for opponents the plastic bag industry. The industry spent millions of dollars gathering signatures to qualify not just this referendum on the statewide law from two years ago, but also to qualify Proposition 65, which would have reallocated bag fee revenues from grocers to an environmental fund.
In the end, voters rejected the industry’s positions on both measures – passing Proposition 67 and rejecting Proposition 65.
The referendum's passage means the state law takes effect immediately. Large grocery and retail stores may no longer use single-use plastic bags. The stores must now also charge 10 cents for every paper or reusable plastic bag. Higher bag fees are in place in some cities and counties.
Now, only two of the 17 state measures remain too close to call.
Proposition 53, which would require voter approval for any project paid for with $2 billion or more in revenue bonds, trails by three percentage points.
And Proposition 66, which would streamline California’s death penalty process, is currently leading by less than two percent.