By Paige Baxter, Capital News Service
The Senate today passed a bill to prohibit smoking in a vehicle when a child under 15 is present.
Senators voted 30-10 for the bill, which now goes to the House of Delegates for consideration. All Democrats — including Manassas Park and Manassas Sen. Charles J. Colgan— supported the bill, along with half of the Senate Republicans.
Under Senate Bill 975, proposed by Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Virginia Beach and Norfolk), people who violate the proposed law would face a civil penalty of $100.
On the floor of the Senate, Northam said the legislation was inspired by a third-grader who told Northam his parents smoke in the car with him.
“It will protect our children and improve their health and in the end hopefully cut down on health care costs,” Northam said.
Northam’s bill is one of three smoking bans still making their way through the General Assembly.
Another bill in the Senate, SB 1253, would give local governments the authority to ban smoking in public areas such as parks and beaches. The Senate Local Government Committee approved this proposal, 11-4; it is now before the full Senate.
How They Voted
Here is how senators voted on SB 975 on third reading. The bill passed, 30-10.
YEAS – Alexander, Barker, Blevins, Colgan, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Hanger, Herring, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Marsh, McEachin, McWaters, Miller, Newman, Norment, Northam, Petersen, Puckett, Puller, Reeves, Saslaw, Stosch, Stuart, Vogel, Watkins – 30.
NAYS – Black, Carrico, Garrett, Martin, McDougle, Obenshain, Ruff, Smith, Stanley, Wagner – 10.
Keep track of the issues Vienna's legislators are supporting on our Virginia General Assembly 2013 topic page.
Patch Editor William Callahan reported for this story.