There was a bit of bright news late last week. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have banned smoking in all state parks and would have severely limited smoking on the state’s beaches. The fines were pretty steep too, $250 for a first offense, $500 second time around and $1,000 for the third time. This is the face of anti-smokers…make them pay lots.
Environmentalists and anti-smoking advocates praised the bill as groundbreaking, saying it would curb secondhand smoke exposure, cut down on litter, and reduce the risks of fire.
Christie said in his veto message that he appreciates the concerns but derided the measure as a “prescriptive, one-size-fits-all” ban.
Yeah because there is so much to catch fire on beaches…that sand you know. And unless I am wrong, there are already laws against littering. Now many towns in Jersey have banned smoking and some towns have done so on their beaches.
“Too often, policy-makers at more centralized levels of government encroach into areas of public policy previously reserved for more localized governing bodies.” Christie said in the message. “I do not believe that the state should substitute its judgement for that of our local elected officials or upset the careful balancing of interests that informs the decision-making process at the local level.”
Even though the bill passed both houses in the legislature by wide margins, at least somebody had sense to knock this down.