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Girl Scouts hoping to change smoking law in Aurora

AURORA, Colo. -- A troop of Girl Scouts from Aurora has proposed an ordinance for not smoking in a vehicle while a minor is present.

Girl Scout Troop No. 60789 proposes that it comes with a $150 fine that would be raised by $50 for each offense and a minimum of 48 hours of community service.

The girls came up with the idea while trying to earn the Silver Award, which is given to middle school-aged Girl Scouts who develop a project to benefit the community.

They decided to enlist the help of Aurora City Councilman Charlie Richardson to learn about the legislative process. As their project developed, so did an idea to make real, lasting change.

The ordinance would be for the city of Aurora, but eight states have similar laws on the books.

Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia have variations of the law that differ in how old the minor can be.

The ordinance proposed by the Girl Scouts in Aurora would make it illegal to smoke in the vehicle with anyone younger than 18 years old.

“They came up with it on their own. They researched it and I’m just so impressed with them,” Richardson said.

The girls said the project has been a good learning lesson in the legislative process and in life.

“Just being this far makes me really proud of us because this is a lot farther than I ever thought we would make it,” Amelia Malchow said.

The full city council will vote on the proposed ordinance on Jan. 22. If it passes, it will then have to undergo a final vote at a future meeting before officially becoming a law.

The troop said if the ordinance is successful, it hopes to eventually take the issue to the state level.

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