During the 2012 Indiana General Legislative Assembly, Representative Randy Frye (R-67) set his sights on so-called “toy” or “novelty” cigarette lighters.
The 2012 version of the bill survived the house but stalled in the senate.
Today, Frye feels just as passionately about the issue as he did during the last General Assembly.
“There’s absolutely no reason for these lighters to exist,” the representative told the Daily News last year. “They look like toys, making them a temptation for any child.”
“But they’re not toys,” Frye stressed. “Young kids end up setting fires; before long, we have burned-up homes and burned kids.”
Frye added that, despite the fact that parents might try to explain to kids the lighters aren’t toys and shouldn’t be played with, the message might not get through to the youngest children.
“They’ll nod their heads and say they understand,” Frye said, “and then when they see the lighters setting out somewhere a little later and mom and dad aren’t around, well, they forget. Three- or four- or five-year-old kids just don’t have that long of an attention span. They see a toy sitting out and they forget what they promised mom or dad; they play with it and set themselves or their homes on fire.”
“We need to put a stop to this.”
For 2013, Frye has again returned to the issue, drafting a new bill which he anticipates will pass this time around.
For one, 2013 is a budget year. As such, the session will last through the end of April, Frye said, as opposed to the March 15 deadline of shortened years.
That longer session, the representative explained, provides more time for the bill to not only pass the house but to also be considered in the senate.
“Obviously, we spend a lot of time on the budget during those extra six weeks,” Frye said, “but the extra time also allows us to allot more for other bills. So I’m pretty confident we can get this passed this year.”
Frye also has a senate sponsor for the bill this time around, a critical component for pushing the legislation through that body and finally seeing it signed into law.
Senator Susan Glick (R-13) has signed on to sponsor the bill in the senate.
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.