FWB City Manager pushing to regulate smoking at local parks and sports complexes

As it stands today, local governments cannot regulate smoking and/or non-smoking areas on public property.

On Monday, members of the Legislative Delegation Board of Directors met at the Okaloosa County Admin building to hear from both local governments as well as citizens.

This included:

  • House District 3: Representative Jayer Williamson
  • House District 4: Representative Patt Maney
  • Senate District 1: Senator Doug Broxso
  • Senate District 2: Senator George B. Gainer

After presenting two projects to the Delegation, Fort Walton Beach City Manager Michael Beedie spoke about The Florida League of Cities’ push to pass a bill that would allow local governments to restrict smoking on beaches and in public parks.

  • As it stands today, local governments cannot regulate smoking and/or non-smoking areas on public property.
  • That is controlled by the state.

“Local governments are not allowed to regulate smoking in public parks or beaches,” said Beedie to the board. “Each year we’ve gotten a sponsor in the House and Senate and it’s gotten further and further each year. This year we’re hoping it gets over the finish line.”

According to Beedie, the bill has gone through the first committee in the Senate, but has not been heard yet in the House.

“We are hoping that bill goes through because we would love to be able to regulate smoking, to some extent, whether it’s creating smoke-free zones or designated smoking areas in public parks or athletic complexes,” continued Beedie.

He says that one of the biggest complaints the City of Fort Walton Beach receives is about smoking that happens near the bleachers during sporting events.

The 2022 session for the House starts in January 2022. 

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