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News Summary

Smoking ban bill dead for this year

Publication Date: 2015-03-02
  • Author:Tom Loftus
  • Publication: The Courier-Journal

Some of the strongest advocates for a bill to ban smoking at workplaces and in indoor public places conceded Monday that the bill will not pass during this session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

"Unfortunately, it's not going to go anywhere," said Sen. Julie Raque Adams, a Louisville Republican who sponsors the bill in the Senate. "At this late time, it's not going to move."

Amy Barkley, chairwoman of the coalition of supporters called Smoke-Free Kentucky, said Monday that the measure's chances this session are nil.

"We're still fighting for it. ... But at this point it appears to have a zero chance because Senate leadership has made it clear they do not want this issue to move forward. They do not want to vote on it. It's very sad," Barkley said.

House Bill 145 passed the House on Feb. 13 by a 51-46 vote. But that was the last vote on the bill.

Supporters of the bill complain that leaders of the Senate's Republican majority delivered the deadly blow two weeks ago by referring the bill not to Adams' Health and Welfare Committee but to the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee.

That committee is chaired by Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, who opposes a smoking ban. Robinson has not called the bill for a hearing and said Monday he would not comment on it until his committee meets on Thursday.

Barkley said that -- while her count of votes in the Senate is close -- she believes the bill would pass the Senate if it is brought to a vote...