Health Special Session Heats Up: First MCO, Now Tobacco
After a rare Leap Day show of bipartisanship on the MCO fix, Democrats and Republicans retreated to their separate camps on Thursday with a heated Assembly floor debate on a raft of anti-tobacco measures.
The Assembly ultimately passed six tobacco measures on to the Senate during the special session. Republicans vehemently opposed taking up the measures on the floor, insisting that they were not germane to the Second Extraordinary Session on Health Care. However, each bill garnered a needed majority vote and Assembly leadership promptly adjourned the second special session.
CSAC had taken a support position on SBX2 5 and SBX2 7. Below are the bills passed by the Assembly yesterday:
SBX2 5 (Leno): CSAC Support — Adds e-cigarettes/vaping products to the existing definition of tobacco products.
SBX2 7 (Hernandez): CSAC Support — Increase age of sale for tobacco products from 18 years of age to 21.
ABX2 10(Bloom): No Position – Allows counties to impose local tobacco taxes.
ABX2 9 (Thurmond): No Position — Prohibits tobacco products from school campuses. If SBX2 5 is signed into law, this would also include vaping/e-cigarette products.
ABX2 7 (Stone): No Position – Closes loopholes in smoke-free workplace laws, including hotel lobbies, small businesses, and break rooms.
ABX2 11 (Nazarian): No Position — Establishes an annual Board of Equalization tobacco licensing fee program, similar to how alcohol is licensed.