Senate passes bill to ban smoking in state parks, beaches

April 15, 2010

The state Senate has given final approval to legislation that would ban smoking at state beaches and in common areas of state parks.

The Senate passed the bill on a 21-13 vote and sent it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has not said whether he would sign it.

The measure’s author, Sen. Jenny Oropeza, a Democrat from Long Beach, took several amendments weakening the bill along its legislative journey in order to get the votes she needed for passage.

The state Parks Department would enforce the ban, but could use only existing funds to do so. And the ban could not be enforced unless the department had first posted signs warning about the potential violations. The ban would apply on state beaches but not in camping areas next to them.

Citations for violating the ban would come with a maximum $100 fine.

The bill is supported by a number of California cities and the state firefighters union. It was opposed by the tobacco industry.

See the full text of Senate Bill 4 and staff analyses here.

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