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BOSTON—Despite unprecedented and overwhelming public support, a legislative committee last night killed the updated bottle bill by removing it from a pending jobs bill.
"Sadly it's becoming clearer that big business is dictating how Beacon Hill votes,” said James McCaffrey of the Sierra Club. “The bottlers and other big beverage interests trumped the people, the environment and the facts on this one,"
Although the Senate included the bottle bill update in its version of the jobs bill, the House did not. Last evening, the Joint Conference Committee, which reconciled the differences between the House and Senate Jobs bill, filed its conference report, which struck the amendment. The Updated Bottle Bill would have added water, juice, sports drinks and similar beverage containers to the current deposit law, which stands as the most effective recycling measure in the state.
With the support of 77% of the public, 208 cities and towns, Governor Patrick, and a majority of legislators, the measure should have been swiftly adopted. "Instead of Massachusetts taking home the gold medal, by disqualifying the public's opinion, the legislature gives us more litter, more waste, and less recycling." said Janet Domenitz of MASSPIRG.
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