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Christie vetoes bill to ban smoking at NJ parks, beaches

Posted at 6:59 AM, Sep 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-11 06:59:07-04

TRENTON, N.J. (AP/PIX11) — Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a measure to limit smoking in the state's parks and beaches.

The governor announced his veto Wednesday night, but didn't specify why he took the action.

Smoking would have been banned at parks and limited at beaches under the bill approved by the state Senate and Assembly in June. It garnered overwhelming support in both chambers.

The bill aimed to reduce secondhand smoke exposure, cut down on litter and curtail fire risks. Violators would have been fined at least $250 for a first offense and up to $1,000 for repeated violations.

The Senate's health committee chair called it a "great compromise" at the time of its passage, noting the Assembly had previously passed a bill that called for an outright ban on smoking at beaches.