State Politics

Anti-smoking bill passes Florida House committee

Palm Beach County students got a lesson in Florida government Wednesday when a bill they proposed to their local lawmakers made it through its first committee in the House and Senate. They were even grilled by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and heard testimony by Brian Pitts of Justice-2-Jesus.

Their proposal (H.B. 671, S.B. 548) would make it illegal to smoke a cigarette while driving with a child younger than 13 in the car.

The bill — the brainchild of Natalie Chavez, Ruben Garcia, Deili Gomez and Zindi Rios of Palm Beach Lakes Community High School — passed a House subcommittee unanimously and Senate Regulated Industries by a 7-4 vote. It’s being sponsored by Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, and Rep. Bobby Powell, D-Riviera Beach, as part of their “There Ought To Be A Law” competition.

Despite fielding a series of tough questions from Negron, who voted against the bill after saying he was concerned about infringing on privacy rights, the students said they felt better about the political process than they had before.

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