Christie Vetoes, Then Proposes Amended New Jersey Beach & Park Smoking Ban

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Like he did in 2014, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation on Friday that would have banned smoking at public beaches and parks in New Jersey, at least conditionally. The governor wasn’t amenable to the idea of telling cities and towns that they had to ban smoking on their parks and beaches.

However, by Friday night the governor was open to a ban on smoking at state-owned parks and beaches, and proposed the amended ban to the legislature, which must now decide whether or not to accept it.

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The original bill easily passed the New Jersey Legislature, passing 24-6 in the Senate and 52-6-3 in the Assembly, but Christie never seemed favorable towards the proposed laws.

This year’s ban would have allowed local municipalities to create smoking areas on their beaches, up to 15 percent of the total area, but it would not apply to parking lots adjacent to public parks or beaches. With Christie’s proposed amendment, it will still be up to cities and towns to enact their own bans, but the state’s 39 state parks and forests, along with the one state-owned beach, will be free of smoking and e-cigarette use. Smoking in parking lots would still be allowed.

Violators would be subject to fines not less than $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

Patrick Lagreid contributed to this story.

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Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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