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News Summary

Smoking Ban Bill Stalls in Subcommittee

Publication Date: 4/5/2013
  • Author:Lloyd Dunkelberger
  • Publication:The Ledger

Legislation that would have allowed local governments to reimpose smoking bans on public property, including beaches and parks, appears dead for this year.

Two state Senate committees approved the measure (SB 258), but its companion bill (HB 439) has stalled in the House, where it never received a hearing. The House panel that the bill was initially assigned to — the Health Quality Subcommittee — is not scheduled to meet again.

Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, who was shepherding the bill through the Senate, said that given the House's lack of action, he is not likely to press forward with the Senate bill during the remainder of the annual session.

"If it's not dead, it's on life support in the House," Bradley said.

Bradley said he will work after the session on trying to find a compromise with the House "so we can move this issue forward" next year. Bradley said he received "unanimous support" for the legislation not only from the local governments in his Northeast Florida district, but from communities across the state.

When lawmakers return home after the session, Bradley said he hopes "that our friends in the House hear from the local governments that this is a good idea and this is a direction that we need to go in, and then we'll be in a better posture next session to get something done."...