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News Summary

Gov. Daniels signs bill to ban smoking in most public places

Publication Date: 3/19/2012
  • Author:Mary Beth Schneider
  • Publication:Indianapolis Star

Gov. Mitch Daniels today signed into law House Enrolled Act 1149, which bans smoking in most places.

At the bill signing ceremony in his Statehouse office, Daniels thanked the lawmakers who had fought for passage, including State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary; Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero; and Sen. Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield.

Brown in particular had fought for the ban for years, only to see it die in the Senate without a vote.

Passage, though, required compromise. It exempts bars and casinos.

While some advocates had opposed the bill because of the exemptions, “I personally think when you can get 90-plus percent of an important goal it’s better than zero,” Daniels said. “I don’t think the chances of getting to a higher percentage in the higher 90s would have been improved by throwing away all this hard work and starting over next year. In fact, it might have meant Indiana waited many years before people had the energy to try it again.”

This new law, he said, is a “huge step forward.”

Daniels said that many exempt taverns have opted on their own to go smoke-free, and hoped more would...