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Keller @ Large: Bottle Bill Expansion Unlikely To Gain Traction On Beacon Hill

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WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – A measure expanding the state’s bottle law to include water and juice containers has been languishing on Beacon Hill for years.

Read: More From Jon Keller

Supporters of expanding the Bottle Bill have made it clear they’re tired of waiting for lawmakers to make a move they claim will cut waste, help keep our streets cleaner and ease the pressure on overburdened landfills.

But, one State Rep. believes bottle law expansion is a job killer.

“It’ll be devastating. We just lost 2,600 jobs last month. A jobs bill This is not the right place for this,” said Rep. Rich Bastein of Gardner. “It just gives another incentive for people to continue to drive over the border and drive more business out of the state.”

Another state official disagrees.

“It doesn’t raise the cost of the bottled water or whatever the other juice might be, so there’s no empirical evidence that it raised any costs,” said Rick Sullivan, the Energy & Environmental Affairs Secretary.

For every claim one side makes, there’s a critic terming it irredeemably false.

“They want… to put another $22 million into the state coffers. This is nothing more than an indirect tax on consumers,” said Chris Flynn of the Massachusetts Food Association.

Key House leaders say the bill is going nowhere.

You can see why the bottle law has been a bitter political battleground in this state for more than 30 years, as the two sides can’t seem to agree on anything.

On Beacon Hill, there’s one bottom line: do you have the votes? And right now, it appears proponents of expanding the bottle law do not.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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