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News Summary

Smoking ban bill squeaks through Senate committee

Publication Date: 2/21/2005
  • Author:MARTIGA LOHN, AP
  • Publication:Duluth News Tribune

By the barest of margins, a Senate committee approved legislation Monday that would create a statewide smoking ban in restaurants, bars and private clubs.

The ban survived the Senate Commerce Committee on a 9-7 vote after cigar lounges were excluded and an attempt to exempt American Legions and other veterans clubs failed on a tie vote. The committee also turned down an amendment that would have allowed smoking in bars.

The bill's next stop is the Senate floor, where both supporters and opponents said the outcome could be too close to call...

Even if the complete ban were to survive the Senate floor intact, the Senate and House versions of the bill have to be reconciled. The House version was already narrowed to prohibit smoking only in restaurants, while permitting it in bars and private clubs.