Katie Lannan, State House News Service
House Speaker Robert DeLeo hopes lawmakers will take a “more comprehensive look” at vaping and tobacco in the next few weeks, but suggested the first round of action on Gov. Charlie Baker’s health care bill could wait until 2020.
A day after a Superior Court judge allowed the Baker administration’s ban on vaping product sales to stay in place for another week, DeLeo said at a Health Policy Commission hearing on health care costs that vaping is an “evolving issue” and reiterated that the House is working on a bill aimed at curbing tobacco use among children.
A bill that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, has cleared two House committees but has not reached the full House.
“I think that relative to vaping, and what I really support, probably primarily, is that hopefully sometime before we break this year, hopefully that’s going to happen, that we have to have a more comprehensive discussion going beyond the ban in terms of what the law’s actually going to be in the future,” DeLeo told reporters.
As far as the multi-pronged health care reform bill Baker filed Friday, DeLeo said lawmakers have “a lot to digest” and first must determine if the bill will need to be vetted by multiple committees.
“I would question whether before the end of the year that we would actually have a hearing on that,” he said.
“I think we’re not even sure what committees it goes to, so I question whether that would make it an impossibility in terms of trying to have it. I’m not ruling it out, but I think that’s yet to be seen.”