Let your Florida Rep. know you want local control
Publication Date: 2/24/2012
House Bill 143 is sitting in the House Community and Military Affairs Committee, and there is reluctance to move the bill forward. Its sister bill, SB746, passed the Senate Health Regulation Committee last month and is awaiting a hearing in the Community Affairs Committee. These bills would allow communities to restrict outdoor smoking on municipal or county property. They are only the first step towards the goal of fully restoring local control of smokefree air for all indoor and outdoor public places.
Please contact your Representative, who sits on this committee, and let him/her know that you support HB 143 and want the bill to have a hearing. They need to hear that local control for smokefree air matters to you, their constituent. Local governments should no longer be denied the ability to take action to protect the health of their community members from exposure to toxic secondhand smoke.
Brevard County residents, it is particularly important for you to call your Representative, Ritch Workman, who is the Chair of the Community and Military Affairs Committee, and voice your support for HB 143. Please place a call today to Rep. Workman at (850) 488-9720. Ask him to bring HB 143 up for a hearing and let him know that you support communities’ right to local control for smokefree air.
Orange County residents, your Representative, Dean Cannon, is the Speaker of the House, and he too needs to hear from his constituents about your support for HB 143 and the need for this bill to have a fair hearing. Please call Speaker Cannon at (850) 488-2742 to express your support for HB 143.
What else can you do to be supportive?
Ask your City Council or County Commission to adopt a resolution asking the Florida Legislature to fully restore local control of smokefree air to Florida communities. Click here for a sample resolution. Remind them that it is the right and responsibility of local governments to address health and safety concerns in the community.If your city or county adopts a resolution, please send us a copy at email@example.com, so we can track the growing support in Florida.
Do you think it's fair that Florida communities have not been allowed to adopt smokefree air policies for the last 27 years? Florida is one of the only U.S. states to prohibit cities and counties from protecting public health from secondhand smoke exposure. Without local control, Florida communities have fallen dangerously behind the rest of the U.S. in eliminating secondhand smoke exposure in workplaces and public places.
Florida communities cannot adopt laws to bring smokefree air to bars, restaurant patios, music venues and other workplaces left out of the 2003 Florida Clean Indoor Air Act, and they are also are not permitted to adopt laws for outdoor areas where people gather, like beaches, playgrounds, and parks.
The time has come for Florida to restore local control so that communities can adopt smokefree laws that help create cleaner, healthier, more vibrant places to work and play.
If you are interested in learning more about local control in Florida, please see Preemption of Smokefree Air Laws in Floridaat http://www.protectlocalcontrol.org/docs/Florida_preemption_factsheet_2011.pdf. You can also visit our friends at the Tobacco Prevention Network of Florida.
Thanks for taking action!