Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C – Batavia) was one of several Assembly Minority members to speak up against a bill that sought to ban smoking in cars carrying passengers ages 14 and under. The measure was ultimately defeated and removed from consideration. While Hawley noted that the intent of the legislation was admirable, he described the bill as an affront to personal freedoms and liberties. He also questioned whether a convertible would be exempted and told “no,” further exemplifying the absurdity of the inane legislation.
“Most everyone can agree that people shouldn’t smoke in the car with young children present, but government does not exist to legislate what a citizen should and should not do,” said Hawley. “This bill is a blatant example of government meddling with the rights of individualism to an obscene extent. Just as we cannot legislate who is qualified or unqualified to be a parent, the Legislature cannot tell a citizen of legal, tobacco-purchasing age that they cannot smoke in their own vehicle.”