A state smoking ban may have a real chance at passage in the upcoming legislative session.
Legislators have introduced a ban on smoking in public places for the last five years. Gary Democratic Representative Charlie Brown, the principle sponsor of the bill, says he understands that compromises will need to be made, particularly with casinos. But while he says he is willing to acquiesce to smoking on casino floors, he thinks other areas need to be part of the bill.
“Because of the fact that youngsters may be in the restaurants and youngsters may be in the hotel rooms so those areas should be considered for smoke-free air,” Brown says.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long says that lobbying groups like the American Cancer Society need to understand that compromise is the only way for the ban to have a shot.
“When you get 90, 95 percent of what you’re seeking, that’s a major victory,” he says. “And if the advocates can accept that, I think it has a fair chance of passing.”
In the last three sessions, the ban has passed the House but never gotten beyond a committee hearing in the Senate.