Tobacco-Related Measures Proposed
Several anti-smoking measures were introduced in the Legislature last week, including measures to provide funds for children's health care, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Sen. Tom Torlakson (D-Concord) proposed legislation (SB 24) that would raise the state tobacco tax by $1.90 per pack. Torlakson estimates $2 billion in revenue from the tax increase, which would fund children's health care initiatives and anti-smoking programs.
The proposed tax increase might have difficulty receiving the two-thirds vote necessary for its approval because of opposition from Republicans to increase taxes, according to the Times.
Assembly Minority Leader Mike Villines (R-Fresno) said, "I don't see a tax going through the Legislature this year" as a component of a health care proposal.
Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D-Carson) introduced two bills seeking to limit tobacco use. The first bill (SB 7) would ban smoking in cars when children younger than age 18 are present, including on private property. Violators would be fined up to $100 per violation.
The second bill (SB 4) would make smoking in state parks and beaches illegal and subject to a fine of up to $250 (Folmar, Contra Costa Times, 12/15).