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Goldberg Succeeds in Getting Plastic Bag Bill Vetoed

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn hears the 13-year-old's campaign and vetoes the bill that would prevent plastic bag bans in local communities.

Abby Goldberg was already asleep late Saturday when Illinois Governor Pat Quinn rang her residence to tell her he would veto SB 3442, a bill that would have barred towns from banning plastic bags. Goldberg, an eighth grader at Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake, collected almost 175,000 signatures against the bill through an online petition.

"I was shocked, I just couldn't believe it," she told Patch. "I really thought he would sign the bill because of the plastics industry, so I just couldn't believe it."

In a statement Governor Quinn credited Golberg with raising awareness about the implications of the proposed law. He also thanked her for her work to protect the environment in Illinois.

The 13-year-old began her campaign last Spring as part of an assignment in her environmental awareness class. She initially wanted to convince the Grayslake Village Board to enact a ban on plastic bags. When she learned that a bill was moving through Illinois that would prevent towns of enacting these bans, she took action.

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"It was a lot of work, but I'm glad I did it," she said. "It's nice that all the work I've done has paid off."

"Abby should be extremely proud that she was able to rally tens of thousands of people, and successfully persuade Governor Quinn to veto this bill,” said Mike Jones, Deputy Campaign Director with Change.org in a statement.

“It’s just another example of how students across the country are using Change.org to make a difference in their community, city and state. Abby’s campaign was extremely popular, and touched a nerve with people all throughout Illinois and the United States,” Jones said.

Goldberg told Patch her future plans include trying to get big-box retailers to have specific check-out lanes for customers using reusable bags. Or, she said, "I may write a children's book."

Jeff August 27, 2012 at 02:16 PM
whoohoo, another pain-in-the-ass regulation telling us what we can and cannot do.
McCloud August 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Great, is that whole global warming thing solved now so we can move on?
Cicada August 27, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I think this is wonderful. She saw a problem and she carried it through. I walk a lot and I see lots of plastic bags stuck in trees and tangled in the grass at forest preserves and along creek banks. I try to pick up and dispose of whatever I can. Plastic bags never truly decompose and in addition to being unsightly litter, they can hurt wildlife. Reusable bags are cheap and they can easily be kept in a car for use in the store. There are even small roll up versions that can be carried in a purse.
Mike K August 27, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Abby should be an inspiration to all kids. Good for her. Thanks in part by her efforts we avoided industry writing yet another law telling us all what we can and can not do.
Brian L. August 27, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I think you're overreacting to what this girl did. She prevented a new law from forming that would have told towns they couldn't choose whether or not to ban bags. So really her petition kept another law off the books and kept the choice in the power of each township. If her original plan had gone forward, then I would have no objection to you're concern.
Brad Faxton August 28, 2012 at 12:27 AM
It's very nice you just kicked sand in the face of a 13yr old. Classy.
Brad Faxton August 28, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Are you smoking a crack pipe again? What on earth does your comment have to do with anything?
McCloud August 28, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Who says plastic bags are harmful? I remember when they rid the stores of paper because plastic was better for the enviornment. Who makes these decisions? Why is it wrong to question it without the secret police slamming me?
Brian L. August 28, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Did you actually read what the article said? Nothing is banned here. All she did was keep a law off the books in IL. They were trying to make it illegal for towns to ban plastic bags and now they can't just arbitrarily ban them. That's all this young girl did.
Nightcrawler August 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Which jobs?
Brian L. August 28, 2012 at 12:35 PM
So again...nothing is banned because of of what this girl accomplished....right?
Brian L. August 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Or they can put it on a ballot in elections and let people decide. There are people out there who don't think we should use materials that don't belong in the ground. Not everyone recycles their plastic bags. You see many of them flying through the air, in ditches, and along road sides. It's not hard to use something other than a plastic bag. I can't imagine your life will be that much worse without them.
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