Smoking Ban, Sperm Donor Bills Clear First Hurdle
The Senate Health Committee on Wednesday approved a bill (SB 7) seeking to ban smoking in a car that contains anyone under age 18, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/29).
The measure, introduced by Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D-Carson) would fine violators $100 for smoking a cigarette, cigar or pipe in the car (DeFao, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/29). State and local penalties could increase the penalty to $350, according to the Union-Tribune (San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/29).
Oropeza told the committee that children are "particularly vulnerable" to secondhand smoke. She cited a 2006 study that found the particulate matter in a smoker's car could be up to 10 times higher than in a smoker's home (AP/Los Angeles Daily News, 3/28).
There was no public opposition to the measure at the meeting, nor is there organized opposition, according to the Chronicle. The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/29).
The Senate Health Committee on Wednesday also approved a bill (SB 443) introduced by Sen. Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) that would allow HIV-positive males to use reproductive medical services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Lucas, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/29).
The measure would allow couples to take advantage of artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization. Before the process, the semen first would undergo a procedure known as "sperm washing" to minimize the risk of transmitting HIV.
Migden says a 1989 state law banning HIV-positive individuals from using reproductive services discriminates against HIV-positive men who might opt to try to conceive through intercourse, thereby increasing the risk of infection (California Healthline, 3/27).