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News Summary

Senate passes public smoking ban

Publication Date: 2008-05-30
  • Author:BRIAN LYMAN
  • Publication:The Press-Register

The Senate approved a state public smoking ban Thursday afternoon, but the legislation could have difficulty passing the lower chamber.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Vivian Figures, D-Mobile, bans smoking in most restaurants, stores and sporting areas, while providing exemptions for private homes, most bars and private clubs. Smokers would also be banned from smoking within 10 feet of the doors or windows of an establishment where smoking had been banned...

Figures was able to pass the legislation in the Senate during the 2008 Regular Session and saw an amended version get out of House committee. The legislation did not pass the full House.

The senator got the two-thirds votes Thursday needed to pass a bill not on the call, or agenda, of the special session, and the Senate passed the ban 27-3. The legislation goes to the House of Representatives. Speaker of the House Seth Hammett, D-Andalusia, said Wednesday and Thursday he was reluctant to allow votes on bills not included in the call.

"I'm hoping he has a change of heart as time goes on, because I'm not the only one who has introduced a bill not on the call," Figures said after the Senate vote.

Lawmakers had introduced 215 bills in the special session through Thursday evening.