Bill would clear smoke outside of city halls

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A Senate committee Thursday approved a bill that could lead to breaking up the huddles of smokers outside city halls and county courthouses. The bill (SB 746) would allow cities and counties to restrict outdoor smoking on their property, reports the News Service of Florida. Sponsor Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, said the bill is intended to help stop smoking near the entrances of government buildings. He said it would not apply to public places such as beaches. The Senate Health Regulation Committee voted unanimously to approve the bill, but Chairman Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, said he wants to make sure it wouldn’t affect smoking on city-owned sidewalks. He said he is concerned about restricting smoking at sidewalk restaurants.

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