Alting: Even Daniels Can’t Exempt Bars From Senate Smoke Ban

Governor Mitch Daniels says he’s willing to help the cause, but a Senate backer of the bill says entrenched feelings may get in the way of a comprehensive ban.

Cigarette pack in Indianapolis bar

Photo: Andrew (Flickr)

Lafayette Sen. Ron Alting says many Senators see a ban as an infringement on business rights.

Indiana House and Senate lawmakers will meet Monday morning to hammer out the details of a final version of statewide smoking ban legislation.

The House passed a bill with exemptions for gaming facilities, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco shops and fraternal order clubs. Bars and taverns were only exempted for the first 18 months. The Senate added more, including a full exemption for bars, taverns and mental health and senior living facilities. Governor Mitch Daniels says he supports a ban with as few exemptions as possible and that he would prefer the House version, adding he is willing to make his case for lawmakers on the fence.

“We’ve been talking to the legislators every day, but if there are some, if there are others that are still wavering and I can help, I will,” Daniels says.

Senator Ron Alting (R-Lafayette), a co-sponsor of the bill, says the governor’s support helped make the bill’s progress in the Senate possible.  But he says he doesn’t think Daniels can do much more.

“It’s more about rights and that is a philosophical belief,” Alting says.  “And even Governor Daniels, I don’t think, is going to influence members of the Senate on changing their philosophical difference in that.”

Alting says in order for the ban to pass the Senate, bars and taverns will have to be exempted.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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