Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has made sure that Abby Goldberg's efforts are in the bag.
Goldberg, a 13-year-old who attends eighth grade at the Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake, led an online petition drive against a state bill limiting how communities deal with plastic bag litter, including towns from banning plastic bags. The petition garnered 175,000 signatures.
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Quinn announced this morning that he has vetoed the "plastic bag" bill, which he said is more restrictive on municipalities than any other plastic bag regulation in the country and would have created a roadblock for locals to choose policies that fit the needs of the area.
"While well-intentioned, this legislation is a roadblock to innovation that would do little to boost recycling in Illinois," Quinn said in a news release. "We can do better."
The bill would have outlawed the purchase of plastic bags from nonregistered manufacturers and prohibited municipalities from enacting their own recycling programs or fees on plastic bags. It was opposed by the Illinois Municipal League and 150 municipalities that felt it would undermine home rule.
Abby launched the petition drive last year when given an assignment to design an environmental project for her environmental awareness class.
She decided her project would be to push Grayslake to ban plastic bags. But when she
learned of the state legislation that would prevent a ban, she instead began the online petition.
"I love animals," Abby said in a news release today. "When I saw birds and turtles choked by plastic bags, it hurt. I've learned that no matter what your age, you can make a difference."
Abby, along with Max Muller of Environment Illinois and Jennifer Walling, executive director Illinois Environmental Council, are holding a news conference in Grayslake this afternoon to further discuss Quinn's veto.