Bars Given 18 Months In Latest Smoking Ban Bill
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – The Indiana House could vote today on a smoking ban bill.
On Friday, lawmakers added an amendment to House Bill 1149 that would allow 18 months before bars across the state would have to fall in line with a statewide smoke free law, removing their ash trays and post “No Smoking” signs.
The legislation seeks to prohibit smoking in indoor public places, enclosed areas of places of employment, certain state vehicles and within 12 feet of a public entrance to a public place. The potential law would go into effect upon being signed by Governor Mitch Daniels.
Casinos, cigar bars, and non-profit veterans clubs are still exempt under the current proposal.
“Many legislators would support a pure smoking ban for all indoor facilities with access by the public or where there are employees,” said the bill’s author, Rep Eric Turner (R-Cicero).
“However, we would rather pass a bill that takes care of the 98 percent of the protecting Hoosier employees than nothing at all. We have tried to find the sweet spot that minimizes the number of exemptions for a smoking ban, maximizes the number of smoke free work places and still passes through the General Assembly.”
The House’s final vote on the bill could take place Monday. If it passes, it moves across the hall to the state Senate.
A smoking ban bill has passed the Indiana House each of the past five years, only to die each time in the Senate.