SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Three bills banning smoking at state parks and beaches passed the California Legislature, and the Governor, once again, vetoed all three.
The Governor penned a direct message to the bill authors saying,
“I am returning the following bills without my signature: AB 1097, SB 835 and SB 836. These bills prohibit smoking in state parks, on state beaches, and at any picnic area on a state beach and require the Department of Parks and Recreation to post signs to notify the public of the smoking ban. I have vetoed similar measures in each of the last two years. Third time is not always a charm. My opinion on the matter has not changed. We have many rules telling us what we can’t do and these are wide open spaces.”
Assembly Bill 1097 wanted to make it an “infraction for a person to smoke, as defined, at any picnic area designated by a posted sign or any other means by the Department of Parks and Recreation on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system or to dispose of used cigar or cigarette waste at these designated picnic areas, with certain exceptions, as specifically provided. The bill would establish a state-mandated local program by creating a new crime.”
Parks and Rec would have needed to post signs at the entrance to all state beaches informing beach-goers of the ban. A violation would have led to a fine.
Senate Bills 835 and 836 would also have fined people for smoking (including e-cigarettes) in, or disposing of, a cigar or cigarette in the state park system, or on state beaches. Parks and Rec would also have needed to post signs.
AB 1097 passed the Senate 27-12-1 and the Assembly 57-22-1.
SB 835 passed the Senate 26-11-3 and the Assembly 55-25.
SB 836 passed the Senate 26-11-3 and the Assembly 54-25-1.
Current law does ban smoking within 25 feet of a playground or sandbox, as well as inside a public building, in a state-owned vehicle, or within 20 feet of a main entrance, exit, or window of a building.