HOLLINGSWORTH OPPOSES BILLS TO RESTRICT SALE OF TOBACCO NEAR SCHOOLS & ADD RENEWAL FEE FOR TOBACCO LICENSES; SENATOR TOOK HEFTY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM TOBACCO INDUSTRY

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By Miriam Raftery

April 24, 2009 (Sacramento) California State Senate Leader Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murietta), whose district includes San Diego's East County, has issued a statement opposing three bills aimed at restricting sale of tobacco to minors. The three measures, SB 601, 602 and 603, passed the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee on a party-line vote. Holilngsworth took $39,500 in campaign donations from the tobacco industry between 2003 and 2006, according to a 2007 report issued by the Center for Tobacco Research Control and Education. http://repositories.cdlib.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1074&context=c...

“Californians are starving for real leadership to get us out of this economic mess," a press release issued by Hollingsworth's office said. "Further burdening small businesses in our current economic crisis does not promote that goal.” Hollingsworth pledged to work for "real job growth and economic recovery" but did not provide specifics. Nor did his press release mention that the measures he opposes were aimed at restricting access by minors to tobacco.

SB 601 would prohibit sale of tobacco within 1,000 feet of elementary or secondary schools. It would also restrict tobacco retail licenses to grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, tobacco and cigar stores.

SB 602 would prohibit issuance of new tobacco retail licenses in areas that already have a high concentration of tobacco retailers. It would also eliminate bureaucratic obstacles to enforcement against retailers who sell tobacco to minors in violation of state laws.

SB 603 would create a $100 annual renewal fee for tobacco retail licenses. It would also limit the number of tobacco retailer licenses issued to one for every 2,500 people over 18 years of age.

For more details on the bills, visit http://www.center4tobaccopolicy.org/_files/_files/New%20Bills%20Legislat...


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