Beach smoking ban again extinguished

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Once again, state Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, was unable to push his “no smoking on the beach” bill through the Florida Legislature.
Senate Bill 334 did garner two favorable committee votes — in Community Affairs (8-1 in support) and Environment and Natural Resources (5-0 in favor) — the bill’s webpage shows.

Joe Gruters

The last listing for it was on April 21, when it was on the agenda for a meeting of the Rules Committee. A notation with that listing says the hearing was “temporarily postponed.”
The Legislature adjourned about mid-afternoon on April 30.
The bill would have allowed counties and municipalities to restrict smoking “within the boundaries of any public beaches and public parks that they own,” and it would have prohibited smoking in state parks.
An amendment to the proposed bill was approved by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, the webpage says. State Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Lake Mary, proposed that, the webpage notes.
That amendment would have allowed the smoking of cigars and pipe tobacco “within the boundaries of any public beaches and public parks” owned by local governments, as well as in state parks.
The companion House bill, HB 239, never made it out of the Environment, Agriculture & Flooding Subcommittee, where it ended up on March 16, that webpage says.
This legislative session marked Gruters’ third attempt to enable local governments to regulate smoking on the beaches.

John Morton
Author: John Morton

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