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Playground smoking ban swings through Senate committee

12:48 AM, Jan 10, 2014   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- A proposal that could ban smoking in parks where children play breezed through the Senate Thursday.

The News Service of Florida reports the proposed bill (SB 342), by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, would be an expansion of the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act, which was approved by voters in 2002 and prohibits smoking in most enclosed indoor workplaces.

Bradley told the NSF the bill gives local governments the ability to tailor regulations to meet their needs.

Bradley tried to pass a broader bill (SB 258) during the 2013 legislative session that was intended to restrict smoking on all municipal or county properties, including beaches. The measure faced opposition in the House before it died in the Senate Community Affairs Committee.

He told the NSF this year's bill is more realistic.

Under the proposal, a citation could only be issued for those who refuse to stop smoking after being told of the restriction and refused to leave the area. Fines would limited to up to $100 for a first offense and $300 for repeat offenses.

Bradley's proposal must still go before the Senate Community Affairs and Criminal Justice committees before reaching the full Senate.

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