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News Summary

Ad aims to revive bill on smoking ban

Publication Date: 2/20/2008
  • Author:Warren Fiske
  • Publication:Norfolk (VA) Virginian-Pilot

Looks like Del. Terrie Suit, R-Virginia Beach, may be getting a lot of calls.

The Virginia Beach Restaurant Association is urging people across South Hampton Roads to phone Suit and ask her to revive recently killed legislation that would ban smoking in Virginia restaurants. The group made the request in a full-page advertisement Wednesday in The Virginian-Pilot.

Suit is the only the lawmaker who can breathe life into the legislation, under the rules of the House of Delegates. But she says emphatically that she will not. . . .

Suit, as chairwoman of General Laws, is empowered to ignore the subpanel's action and bring the bills up for consideration by the entire 22-member committee.

That would be the fair thing to do, officials of the restaurant association say. They say it is unjust that restaurant smoking bans - which affect health and were approved by the 40-member state Senate - can be crushed by only seven of the 100 members in the House of Delegates...

The ad is headlined, "An open letter to the dining public." It decries secondhand smoke and gives the phone number of Suit's office in Richmond and the e-mail addresses of two powerful Republicans also opposing a ban: Speaker William Howell of Stafford and Majority Leader Morgan Griffith of Salem.