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News Summary

Iowa House rejects adding casinos to smoking ban

Publication Date: 2011-05-03
  • Author:Mike Glover
  • Publication:BusinessWeek

The Iowa House on Tuesday rejected efforts to include casinos in the state's three-year-old ban on indoor smoking.

Rep. Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, sought to include the expansion of the smoking ban in a larger gambling bill, but the House rejected her effort with little debate.

When the Legislature approved the sweeping ban on indoor smoking, it exempted casinos from the restriction. Gambling forces argued banning smoking would send Iowa gamblers to other states.

"When we passed the smoke-free act of 2008, one class of people was left out," Petersen said. "That's people who work in casinos."

Rep. Peter Cownie, R-West Des Moines, said lawmakers had carefully bargained a measure dealing with the state's gambling laws, and injecting the smoking issue would complicate that effort.

After rejecting Petersen's proposal, the House gave the larger measure final legislative approval on a 72-21 vote.