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.
Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.