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News Summary

Delegates seek accountability concerning smoking bans

Publication Date: 2008-10-15
  • Author:Bill Byrd
  • Publication:Times West Virginian

Bill would require final decision to be voted on, enacted by county commissioners

When county health boards order bans on smoking in public places, elected county commissioners must have the final vote, said three Marion County state lawmakers.

Citing smoking ban controversies last spring in Marion County, House Majority Whip Mike Caputo and Delegates Tim Manchin and Linda Longstreth, all D-Marion, said more transparency and accountability are needed.

"Our bill, which is still being drafted, will allow county health boards to make recommendations on smoking restrictions, but the final decision must be voted on and enacted by county commissions," Caputo said.

Involving elected officials will "encourage the holding of public hearings where all the pros and cons can be aired before a decision is made."

"Those making the decision then would be held accountable by the voters who elected them to office," he said Tuesday.