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Lynne Dixon attempts to force vote on 5-cent paper bag fee

Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon attempted Thursday to force a County Legislature vote on a 5-cent fee for paper bags, which counties have the option to impose after the state's ban on single-use plastic bags goes into effect in March.

Dixon, I-Hamburg, opposes the fee.

Her long shot attempt to force a Legislature vote represents her latest effort to raise her profile as the Republican-endorsed challenger to Democratic County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

Poloncarz has said he supports the fee as an incentive to get more people to use reusable bags. For every 5 cents collected, 3 cents would go into the state's Environmental Protection Fund. The other 2 cents would be used by the county to purchase reusable bags for residents.

A resolution opposing the 5-cent paper bag fee, which has Minority Caucus support, has lingered in committee. Dixon attempted to move the issue to the floor, but her request was defeated by the Democratic majority in a 6-4 vote.

"We will be able to discuss it in an upcoming committee," said Chairwoman April Baskin.

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