Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances
 

Action Alert

Ohio legislature repealing voter's will!

Publication Date: 2008-06-11
We have very startling news - Ohio's voter mandated smokefree law is under attack, by the legislature!

The state legislature introduced Senate Bill 346 this afternoon in an attempt to weaken the state's simple, strong, and fair voter approved smokefree law. The bill could change the law to exempt some bars, businesses, and private clubs. Last year, smokefree opponents attempted to manipulate the smokefree law and were challenged in court and defeated. Now, opponents are at it again. This time, they are using the legislature.

Protect everyone's right to breathe smokefree air today! Call your state senator TODAY and tell him/her to honor the will of the voters and Vote NO on SB 346. To find your senator's phone number, go to http://www.senate.state.oh.us/senators/, type in your zip code, and click on your senator's name.

SB 346 is the latest from Governor Strickland's resolve to liquidate Ohio's tobacco control program. We need you to stop his raid by contacting your representative today and tell them to leave the voter's smokefree law alone!

Thanks for taking action today!

Background information on the attack on Ohio's tobacco control programs:

As previously seen in Florida and California, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and the state legislature raided the budget of the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation (OTPF) in order to backfill state budget deficits. In response, OTPF filed a lawsuit to stop the state from using the majority of its funds as part of an economic stimulus package. The Governor retaliated by supporting and signing a bill that liquidates OTPF, allocating a token amount of its budget to the health department. The state also filed a motion to dismiss OTPF’s lawsuit, claiming the Foundation no longer exists.

In a joint statement with party leadership, Gov. Strickland said they respect the concerns of the tobacco-prevention community, stating: "We will take every step necessary to prevent the foundation from circumventing a bipartisan decision that has been made for the good of all Ohioans." Depleting tobacco prevention programs for budget fixes is hardly supportive. This short-sighted approach ends up costing taxpayers more, because health care costs related to tobacco use will likely rise without these programs.

Now, Governor Strickland is after our clean air.