Photo: Andrew (Flickr)
With a vote of 20-9, the Indianapolis City-County Council once again passed a city-wide smoking ban. The ban exempts cigar and hookah bars, off-track betting facilities, retail tobacco stores and private clubs.
Council Minority Leader Ryan Vaughn took issue with the inclusion of electronic cigarettes in the proposal and was also unhappy that the language regarding private clubs did not mirror the language in the statewide smoking ban recently passed by the Indiana General Assembly. Vaughn proposed to send the smoking ban back to committee to address his concerns but his motion was defeated.
During the meeting, a member of Mayor Ballard’s staff sent a text message to one of the councillors expressing concern with the language regarding private clubs.
Several councillors, including Democratic Councillor Brian Mahern, took exception to that and the fact that other issues were coming to light at the last minute, two weeks after the proposal was discussed in committee. The Mayor’s issue was resolved through an amendment which passed through the Council.
Just before the council was set to vote, Republican Councillor Aaron Freeman said he felt the city-wide smoking ban was too premature.
“I think it would be prudent to allow the state law to take effect, see what it does, what it doesn‘t do and take it from there,” Freeman says.
Despite his concerns, the council approved the smoking ban proposal. It now goes to Mayor Ballard’s desk for approval.