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Jerry Brown signs bills on cigarette sales and infant health

September 15, 2012 | 12:32 pm

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California will crack down harder on stores that sell cigarettes to minors and hospitals will be required to screen infants for congenital heart disease under new legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The governor's office announced the bill signings on Saturday. Brown has been whittling down more than 700 bills that were passed in the final week of the legislative session, which ended after midnight on Sept. 1.

The bill on tobacco sales (AB 1301) requires the state to suspend a store's license for 45 days for three violations within five years. For five violations within five years, the license is permanently revoked. The legislation was authored by Assemblyman Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo).

The healthcare legislation (AB 1731) will ensure infants are tested for congenital heart disease before they're discharged from the hospital. The disease is found in seven to nine of every 1,000 babies, according to the March of Dimes, an advocacy organization that focuses on infant health. The program could cost state healthcare programs between $600,000 and $1.8 million per year to cover the tests.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Marty Block (D-San Diego).

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-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
twitter.com/chrismegerian

Photo: A woman pulls a menthol cigarette from a pack in 2010. Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

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