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Beach smoking ban fails Assembly test

March 18, 2010 |  3:56 pm
A proposal to outlaw smoking in state parks and beaches failed to catch fire in the Assembly on Thursday, but supporters vowed to bring it back next week for another vote.

The measure by state Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach) fell short of the number of votes needed after a long and heated debate in which supporters argued action is needed to reduce litter and secondhand smoke on state beaches and parklands."Our beaches are the pride of California,’’ said Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach). "So many of us have spent days cleaning beaches and cleaning up cigarette butts, one after another after another."

But Republican lawmakers opposed SB 4 as a "nanny bill," saying it is already illegal to litter. Assemblyman Anthony Adams (R-Hesperia) objected to the bill, saying, "That presumes that everyone who smokes is intrinsically doing something criminal."

-- Patrick McGreevy