Assembly may amend smoking ban as judge broadens its scope
Publication Date: 4/1/2005
- Author:SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
- Publication:Providence (RI) Journal-Bulletin
The move came just hours after a Superior Court judge ruled that such exemptions are unconstitutional.
Judge Stephen J. Fortunato Jr. said there was no rational reason to prohibit smoking in some bars while exempting a group of almost identical bars from the ban. He issued a temporary order yesterday afternoon, essentially saying that smoking in the private clubs and bars must halt immediately.
The decision was a victory for bar and restaurant owners, as well as health advocates, who had been calling for a level playing field.
A more in-depth hearing on the issue is scheduled April 11 at 9:30 a.m. in Newport County Superior Court. That hearing would be moot if lawmakers strip the exemptions.