State Lawmakers Waiting to Exhale: Will Governor Schwarzenegger Approve Measure Banning Smoking in State Parks?
Authored by Long Beach's Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D), a cancer survivor, the measure will make smoking illegal and punishable by fine in 278 state parks and beaches, with exceptions made for campgrounds and parking lots. Oropeza says her bill builds on existing legislation in L.A., Santa Monica, Malibu, and her home of Long Beach, which prohibits smoking "at parks, beaches and within 25 feet of playgrounds, sports fields and picnic areas."
But will our health-conscious state leader approve? "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not said publicly whether he will sign the measure." Republicans largely opposed the bill, decrying it for perpetuating "nanny-state" behavior. Oropeza and many Dems see this as an opportunity to decrease litter and other pollution, as well as protect our vast parklands from potentially deadly and destructive fires and visitors to our state parks from exposure to secondhand smoke.