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Smoking Ban Bill Smolders in Madison

Publication Date: 2008-02-03
  • Author:Matt Smith
  • Publication:WBAY-TV Ch. 2 (Green Bay, WI),

Next month state leaders will head home as the legislative session ends. A big question, will a statewide smoking ban pass -- or even be voted on?

Time is ticking for state lawmakers to pass the proposed smoking ban, and just this week the debate intensified.

To understand where we are today, we must first look at what happened earlier in the week, specifically Wednesday. What looked like a compromise in the Senate stalled.

Senator Roger Breske, a Wittenberg-area Democrat, said, "I have to say we thought we were pretty close Wednesday morning. We asked the smoke-free people and cancer society to go back to their board with some ideas of what we came up with, and we told them we would do something if they could compromise on some of it. Well, when they called back, they said there was no compromise."

Senate Democrats said they want to delay imposing a ban at bars to give bar owners more time to adjust. Proponents of the smoking ban fiercely rejected that idea, and so did the governor.

"I guess we're back to square one where we're either going to have to meet again and try to iron out what the differences are," Breske said.