For the past three legislative sessions, Mr. Bowen has had state Rep. Jennifer E. Benson, D-Lunenburg, file a bill that would limit smoking to detached single-family homes. The first two bills were recommended to be studied, or to die quietly. This time around, Mr. Bowen said, he hopes anti-smoking groups will help advocate for passage of the bill. But he said he isn’t optimistic, because no one he has spoken with will help, including Ms. Benson, who filed the bill.
“She’s not the slightest bit interested. She said she filed it because I have a constitutional right to file a bill,” said Mr. Bowen. Ms. Benson did not return phone calls seeking comment. An aide said she would not have any comment on House bill No. 1897.
The bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health. State. Rep. Carolyn C. Dykema, D-Holliston, is the only member from Central Massachusetts on the committee. Her 8th Middlesex District includes Southboro and Precinct 2 in Westboro. She said she is looking forward to input from Mr. Bowen and others when a hearing is held.
State Rep. John P. Fresola, D-Worcester, and state Sen. James B. Eldridge, D-Acton, both members of the Joint Committee on Housing and nonsmokers, said they do not support the proposal. Each cited people’s right to generally do what they want inside their homes.