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News Summary

State smoking ban has support

Publication Date: 2007-07-04
  • Author:Ben Jones
  • Publication:Appleton Post-Crescent

Backers say a statewide ban similar to Appleton’s two-year-old workplace smoking prohibition seems likely, but it won’t happen before the state budget is hammered out later this year.

“The (state) budget is the priority right now,” said Alison Prange, Wisconsin government relations officer for the American Cancer Society. “That’s not surprising. With the Wisconsin Legislature, the budget comes first and then the fall tends to be the policy debates.”

So far, there have been no votes on the latest version of a statewide smoking ban bill.

The state budget currently looms over all issues for state lawmakers as they work to craft, and agree on, a two-year state spending plan. Observers expect the work to consume the summer.

“Until that’s done, signed, sealed and delivered, it’s going to be difficult to get focus on a lot of issues,” said Maureen Busalacchi, executive director of Smoke Free Wisconsin, a group working to pass the ban.