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News Summary

Bills on smoking still haven't been sent to the governor as tobacco politics play out

Publication Date: 3/31/2016
  • Author:Patrick McGreevy
  • Publication:Los Angeles Times

Two weeks after approving a package of anti-smoking bills, the state Legislature has yet to send them to the governor for final action and may not do so until mid-April. The delay could hinder a referendum threatened by the tobacco industry to overturn the measures.

The bills opposed by the tobacco industry would, among other things, raise the smoking age from 18 to 21 and restrict public use of electronic cigarettes...

The political maneuvers began after a tobacco industry lobbyist warned a legislative staffer in a March 2 email that the initiatives to raise the tobacco tax and extend Proposition 30 could be endangered by a referendum to overturn legislation raising the smoking age.

In the email obtained by the Los Angeles Times, lobbyist George Miller IV indicated that the tobacco industry would pay a premium for signature gatherers on its referendum, depriving other ballot drives of the resources they need...