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News Summary

Fallin wires around lawmakers, launches anti-tobacco effort

Publication Date: 2013-02-21
  • Author:World's Editorials Writers
  • Publication:http://www.tulsaworld.com

It's a sad day and time when the governor has to wire around her own Legislature and resort to initiative petition to pursue legislation that a majority of Oklahomans support.Gov. Mary Fallin had urged the Legislature to pass a tobacco-control bill that would have allowed cities and towns to adopt regulations that are tougher than state laws. Stronger tobacco controls are among objectives included in the governor's developing health initiative.

But, as usual, lawmakers sided with the tobacco industry and killed the legislation in committee. This in spite of the fact that a growing chorus of business and city leaders is calling for the local-control option.

Fallin, sadly, understands the risks of tobacco from first-hand experience. Both of her parents smoked from an early age and suffered health consequences as a result. Lawmakers could have taken steps that would help keep other families from experiencing similar tragedies, but chose to side with the industry that continues year after year to plump up their campaign coffers and shower them with gifts and meals.

Joined by health advocates and tobacco foes, Fallin announced she hopes to get a question on a statewide ballot by next year. To achieve that, backers would need 82,782 signatures to change state law, or 155,216 signatures to change the Constitution...