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[greenyes] Gov Romeny proposes expansion of MA bottle bill

MASSACHUSETTS' NEW GOVERNOR, MITT ROMNEY, PROPOSES EXPANSION OF THE STATE'S
BOTTLE BILL TO INCLUDE NON-CARBONATED BEVRERAGE CONTAINERS (BOTTLED WATER,
TEAS, SPORTS AND JUICE DRINKS, ETC), WINE AND LIQUOR BOTTLES, AND BOOST THE
DEPOSIT TO 10 CENTS FOR NON-CARBONATED BEVERAGES AND 15 CENTS FOR WINE AND
LIQUOR.  FOLLOWING IS ARTICLE FROM BOSTON GLOBE, FEBRUARY 27, 2003

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BOSTON GLOBE, FEBRUARY 27, 2003

$60M IDEA
Plan would raise fees on certain services



By Cynthia Roy, Globe Correspondent, 2/27/2003

Nearly 100 state fees, including those on bottled beverages, public health
testing, and driver's licenses, would rise next year under Governor Mitt
Romney's 2004 proposed budget, which was released yesterday.

The administration estimates the fee increases, which must be approved by
the state Legislature, would bring an additional $60 million in revenue to
the cash-strapped state.

Some Romney critics said yesterday that they don't see any difference
between raising taxes - as Romney has pledged not to do - and raising fees.
But a Romney spokeswoman said the two are separate issues.

''Fees go for a direct service,'' spokeswoman Nicole St. Peter said. ''Taxes
are something that is assessed, that everyone has to pay.''

Bottles of water and uncarbonated beverages, which have not previously come
under the state's bottle law, would cost 5 cents more; and a 15-cent charge
would be added to bottles of wine and liquor under the proposal. Romney's
move would make Massachusetts one of only 11 states with a bottle deposit
fee on noncarbonated drinks and only the fifth - along with Vermont and
Maine - to charge for wine and liquor.

The state has not changed or expanded the 5-cent deposit fee on beer and
soda since 1982.

''It is time to bring bottle charges up to date,'' Ellen Roy Herzfelder,
secretary of Environmental Affairs, said yesterday.

Romney also said he would like to raise 12 motor-vehicle-related fees to
generate $8.6 million. Motorcyclists would pay $40 for a new license instead
of $34; while new - and often younger - drivers would see the price of a
learner's permit double to $30.

David Shaw, spokesman for the Registry of Motor Vehicles, said the permit
fees should have been increased five years ago, when drivers were allowed to
use them for two years instead of one.

The biggest fee increases at the Registry will be shouldered by those who
are looking to reinstate revoked licenses, he said.

''A big bulk of the money will come from drivers who have had their licenses
suspended because they did something wrong,'' Shaw said. ''So it's only
going to affect those people who choose to act illegally.''

Fee increases at the Department of Public Health would generate the most new
money for the state, $9.1 million. The fee changes include $6 million in
hikes at state labs and hospitals, as well as a new $50 charge for
tuberculosis tests and a $400 fee for those who test positive.

Stephen E. Collins, executive director of the Massachusetts Human Services
Coalition, a health-care advocacy group, called the TB screening fee
''ludicrous.''

''There's going to be a real problem if people start declining the screening
and the disease starts to spread,'' he said.



This story ran on page B5 of the Boston Globe on 2/27/2003.






****************************************
Patricia Franklin
Executive Director
Container Recycling Institute
1911 N. Fort Myer Drive, Ste. 702
Arlington, VA 22209

TEL:   703.276.9800
FAX:   703.276.9587
EMAIL: pfranklin@no.address

http://www.container-recycling.org
http://www.bottlebill.info
****************************************






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