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Iowa City officials seek bill granting local control over smoking laws

Publication Date: 11/27/2007
  • Author:AP
  • Publication:The Quad-City Times, Davenport, IA

The City Council is continuing to push state lawmakers to grant it authority to pass laws on public smoking.

At a meeting with local legislators Monday, Iowa City officials asked lawmakers to move forward with a bill to give cities the power to ban smoking in public.

"There's more and more push on the health issue of smoking," council member Dee Vanderhoef said.

In its last session, a bill giving local control was not considered by the full Legislature. But Rep. Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, said she's optimistic legislators would act in the upcoming session. Lawmakers did made progress with passing the $1 tax increase on tobacco products in the last session, she added.

"I think what you do is build momentum and support," she said.

Other cities are also hoping the state grants them local control in overseeing smoking laws. City and county governments, such as in Cedar Rapids, have passed ordinances in support of the measure.