A bill has emerged from a Senate committee that would prohibit a driver from smoking or allowing a passenger to smoke in a vehicle occupied by a child under 8 years old.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jennie Forehand, D-Montgomery, and approved by the Judicial Proceedings Committee, now goes to the Senate floor. The bill provides for a $50 fine for violations, which would not be considered a moving offense. An exception is made for mobile homes being used as a residence.

Last year, similar legislation died in committee in both houses. This year, no House bill has been filed. If it passes the Senate, it would likely be assigned to the House Environmental Matters Committee, which voted it down last year.

While its chances are questionable at best, it's the type of bill that's been known to inspire lively debate.