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News Summary

Legislature passes local bans on smoking in public places

Publication Date: 5/18/2005
  • Author:BEN FISCHER
  • Publication:Chicago Sun-Times
Restaurants and bars could face local smoking bans if Gov. Blagojevich backs a measure the General Assembly approved Tuesday despite fierce opposition from the hospitality industry...

Anti-smoking advocates hailed the Senate's vote as the culmination of 15 years of fighting powerful lobbying by restaurateurs who say the proposal will hurt small businesses.

"It's a really good feeling to have a little faith in the General Assembly," said Mark Peysakovich, a lobbyist for the American Heart Association. "I'm glad people stuck it out."...

Should Blagojevich sign the bill, all local governments would be allowed to write their own anti-smoking regulations that go beyond the state's basic clean indoor air rules. Under current law, only about 20 cities and towns -- including Chicago and many suburbs -- are allowed to restrict smoking more than the state does. An aide to Blagojevich said the governor would review the proposal.