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News Summary

Assembly Committee Approves Smoking Ban Bill; Armstrong Speaks At Rally

Publication Date: 3/5/2008
  • Publication:Channel 3000/WISC-TV Ch. 3 (Madison, WI)

Committee Sends Bill To Full Assembly

A statewide smoking ban cleared another legislative hurdle on Tuesday as the Assembly Committee on Public Health approved the bill in a 6-3 vote, sending the measure to the full chamber for a vote...

The legislative action comes amid Tuesday's rally held in downtown Madison and a press conference in Milwaukee featuring cycling champion Lance Armstrong. The racing legend and cancer survivor, who appeared in Madison with Gov. Jim Doyle, is a proponent of the ban.

The bill, called the "Breathe Free Wisconsin Act," passed the committee with one amendment, which made a technical change. Another amendment, which would have delayed implementation for Wisconsin's taverns until July 2, 2011, failed to pass. The bill has progressed slowly in both the Senate and Assembly under opposition from bar owners and the powerful Tavern League lobby...

Armstrong said that there's a moral obligation to prevent nonsmokers from being forced to breathe secondhand smoke while at work.

"For me as a visitor and a cancer survivor, people say this is about their personal right, and you absolutely have a right to smoke a cigarette when you're alone," said Armstrong. "But when you do it in a public place you're violating someone else's rights, and the government should intervene."