A bill to be considered in the full South Carolina Senate this week has bipartisan support…and opposition. The proposed legislation makes it illegal to smoke in cars if there is a child under 10 years old in the backseat.
Democratic Senator Darrell Jackson says one day in a Walmart parking lot, he saw someone smoking in a closed car with a child in the back seat and that inspired him to action.
“It says very strongly that South Carolina understands the danger of secondhand smoke and we also understand the importance of protecting those who are innocent, such as our children,” says Jackson.
Jackson says law enforcement should be able to stop and ticket these adults and he expects this bill to become law, since it passed the Senate last year. He says, ” It had some minor issues in the House, but we basically ran out of time. I would love to see what opposition would be. I would really welcome anyone who can defend smoking in a car with a child under 10.
York Senator Mick Mulvaney has a problem with it because he says it is “a complete infringement on our personal liberties and it’s the stepping stone to even more in-roads.”
Mulvaney says, “If the argument obviously is that you shouldn’t do this because it’s unhealthy for the child, why is it healthy to smoke in your house with a child? I’m just not ready to go down that road.”
Mulvaney says that road leads to logical, yet dangerous conclusions for parents.
“It’s a terrible idea not to teach your child to read; that’s not against the law. It’s a terrible idea, in my mind, not to take your child to church. That’s not against the law. It’s not the government’s business to always tell us what is best for us and our children. You know we have certain liberties that we try and protect in this nation, but I’m not in the business of trying to make sure that every parent is a great parent,” Mulvaney argues.
Senator Jackson’s smoking in cars bill is set for full Senate debate this week.