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Bill to ban smoking in automobiles with children gets favorable committee report


Thursday, the Alabama House Health Committee gave a favorable repot to a House bill that would make it illegal to smoke in an automobile with a child present.

House Bill 46 is sponsored by State Representative Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham).

“This bill is for the health of our children,” Hollis said. This is not about telling people what they can do with their own bodies; but this is about the health of children.

Hollis said that the bill would make it illegal to smoke in a car with a child fourteen years old or younger in the car. “Adults can get out of the car; but the kid does not have a choice. They have to suffer with the secondhand smoke.”

State Representative Rhett Marquez (R-Enterprise) asked, “How are you going to enforce this? I see that you have a $150 fine.” Will law enforcement be able to stop someone over this.

Hollis said that police officers would be able to stop vehicles where there was smoking with children present, just like they pull people over for seatbelt violations or for smoking marijuana.

HB46 received a favorable report unanimously.

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State Representative Paul Lee (R-Dothan) is the Chairman of the House Health Committee.

On Wednesday the Committee gave favorable reports to several bills.

“All of these bills passed (the House) last session without any problem,” Chairman Lee said. “The entire list passed the House without any problem.”

HB46 now moves to the full Alabama House of Representatives for their consideration. The full House could act on this legislation as early as today.

This passed the House in the 2019 regular session; but failed to get through the Alabama Senate.

Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP) executive director Joe Godfrey told the Alabama Political Reporter that ALCAP “strongly supports” this bill.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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