The California State Assembly on Monday approved the bill that aims to make university and community college campuses totally tobacco-free areas.
Authored by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, AB 1594 was approved in a 41-23 vote. In other words, the measure received just enough votes to pass the state's lower legislative chamber. Two of the votes against the bill came from Republicans, while many Democrats didn't cast votes.
AB 1594 is now goes to the Senate. If the senate also approves the bill, then it will go to Gov. Jerry Brown, who could sign it into law or just reject it.
The measure would prohibit anyone on 136 campuses from chewing, dipping and smoking. It would also ban use of synthetic tobacco or e-cigarettes on the campuses. The campuses collectively have nearly 2.5 million students and 100,000 staff and faculty members.
McCarty, a Democrat from Sacramento, said, "This measure will promote a safe and healthy environment for students to learn and make campuses a more education-friendly environment and tobacco-smoke-free."
The proposed measure would also allow school board members to decide whether to impose a fine of up to $100 on violators. The money collected through fines would be used to support education programs at the campuses.
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