April 17, 2010 - Thursday, April 22, 2010 is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. We wonder if Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will take this occasion to sign the bill that would ban smoking on state-run beaches and parks.
Earth Day 2009 promoting environmental citizenship - Tobacco A Major Culprit..;
Earth Day 2008 promoting environmental citizenship - Tobacco A Major Culprit..
The California Senate on Thursday, April 15th voted 21-13 to send Governor Schwarzenegger a bill that would ban smoking on state-run beaches and parks. The bill (Senate bill 4) is believed to be the nation's most far-reaching smoking ban in state parks. It aims to cut down on litter, secondhand smoke and forest fires at California's 278 parks and 64 beaches by imposing a $100 fine on people who violate the ban, according to its author, Sen. Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach.
Back on March 22, 2010 the state Assembly voted 42-27 in favor of the ban. Anti-smoking groups say the bill would make California the first state to ban smoking throughout its entire park system if it is signed into law. The legislation faces one more vote in the Senate before it can be sent to health-conscious Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has not indicated whether he will sign it. (California - State Assembly approves smoking ban at state parks and beaches..) Jeff Macedo, a spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, says the governor has not yet taken a position on it.
The bill has encountered stiff opposition, including from the state Department of Parks and Recreation, which contends the rules will be difficult to enforce. Oropeza's measure exempts state park campsites and Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, an off-road vehicle area, from the ban.
The passage of the law and then making people aware the law exists only will help to reduce litter at beaches and parks throughout the state.
Supporters say the measure is needed to keep state parks and beaches clean and fire-safe and to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. Opponents, including tobacco companies, have noted that many cities have already enacted ordinances to ban smoking on beaches.
Reference: Bill to ban smoking at state beaches and parks goes to Schwarzenegger, Dan Smith, Bee Capitol Bureau Chief, The Sacramento Bee, 4/16/2010; California smoking ban at state parks on governor's desk, The Associated Press, 4/15/2010.
Related news briefs:
California - State Assembly approves smoking ban at state parks and beaches..;
California - vote tomorrow, nation's most far-reaching smoking ban in state parks..;
California - “The No Smoking at State Parks and Beaches Act..”;
Maine - smoking prohibited at states parks, beaches and historic sites..;