Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has stood up for smokers rights of a legal product by using his veto powers to stop a bill that would have banned smoking in public parks and limited lighting up on public beaches.
The measure which had overwhelming support in both the house and state legislatures would have carried up to $1,000 fines for violations.
Under the measure — which had overwhelming support in both houses of the state Legislature — violators would have faced a $250 fine for the first offense, $500 for the second, and $1,000 for an additional offense.
In a statement on his veto Christie said the ban was “prescriptive, one-size fits all”. The potential presidential candidate suggest that state lawmakers overstepped their bounds by proposing legislation that should come on a local level.
The state of New Jersey currently has smoking bans in 242 of 565 municipalities, and 12 of 21 counties.
“Too often, policy-makers at more centralized levels of government encroach into areas of public policy previously reserved for more localized governing bodies.” said, Gov. Christie. “I do not believe that the state should substitute its judgement for that of our local elected officials or upset the careful balancing of interests that informs the decision-making process at the local level.”