Since the initiative to broaden Connecticut's bottle-deposit law is dead, New York is now the only other state that could join Oregon in such an expansion this year.
Proponents had hoped the Connecticut initiative - killed in committee last month - could resurface as an amendment to an existing bill, but the session ended June 6 without action. The proposal would have required deposits on bottles for water, sports drinks, tea and juice.
``I think we came close enough to resolving things with [Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo] that we are going to get this through next year,'' Jessie Stratton, a consultant and former chairman of the House Environment Committee in Connecticut, said in a recent telephone interview.
She said the two soft drink companies had been willing to expand the bottle-deposit law bill to include water and flavored water, and seemed interested in sitting down before the next legislative session to find a way to expand the bill ``that is acceptable to all sides.''
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, despite being rebuffed in an earlier vote, still hopes to resurrect that state's expanded legislation, touted by supporters as the Bigger Better Bottle Bill, before the legislative session ends June 21.
The New York proposal would extend the 5 cent deposit on beer and soda bottles to water, fruit juices, sports drinks and other popular noncarbonated drinks, and shift the unclaimed deposits that bottlers and distributors now get to keep - estimated to be as much as $185 million - to the state's Environmental Protection Fund.