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marclevine.jpgLegislation to bar millions of Californians from smoking inside their own homes was rejected today by an Assembly committee.

Assembly Bill 746 would have made California the first state to venture into personal bedrooms and living rooms with smoking restrictions. It targeted condominiums, duplexes and apartments.

Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, proposed the measure to ensure that people who live in structures that share walls, ceilings, floors or ventilation systems with neighboring units are not subject to second-hand smoke.

The bill was rejected 5-2 by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee today despite several amendments, including one that would have delayed fines from being issued until January 2015.

Voting no were Democrats Norma Torres, Toni Atkins and Cheryl R. Brown and Republicans Beth Gaines and Brian Maienschein, according to Levine's office, and Democrats Ed Chau and Kevin Mullin voted yes.

Landlords already have authority to prohibit smoking in their rental units, through a law implemented last year, but Levine's bill would have imposed a mandatory ban statewide.

AB 746 would have permitted outdoor smoking near apartments or condos, but only in a clearly marked area that is at least 20 feet from any housing unit and 100 feet from a playground, school or pool.

Critics of AB 746 questioned who would enforce it, how, and what impact the bill would have on habitual smokers or on people with disabilities who could not easily leave their residences to smoke.

PHOTO CREDIT: Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael during session in the Assembly chambers in Sacramento, Calif. on Monday, March 11, 2013. Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee



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