Senate Adds Exemption For Bars To Statewide Smoking Ban

One author of the statewide smoking ban says the legislation has been butchered by the Senate.

ashtray, smoking, cigarette

Photo: Lago A. R. (Flickr)

The Indiana Senate has once again watered down a statewide smoking ban proposal.

The Senate passed several amendments to the smoking ban Tuesday.  With those changes, bars and taverns would now be totally exempt from the ban, as well as senior centers.  And social clubs who allow smoking would now also be able to allow children into the facilities.  Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) authored several of the amendments.  She says she wants to make sure bars and taverns are on a level playing field with other businesses.

“I believe, truly, that smoking bans violate our property rights,” Leising says.

But Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) says the bill is about workers’ rights.  He helped author the House legislation and says he thinks a smoking ban can get passed without all the exemptions the Senate added.

“This game is only half over and it will be totally different once we get to conference committee,” Brown says.

If the ban passes the Senate Wednesday, it goes back to the House and then either to conference committee for additional changes or to the governor. Brown says if the bar and tavern exemption isn’t removed, he thinks the House won’t support the ban.

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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