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News Summary

Senate bill aims to soften public ban on smoking

Publication Date: 11/24/2008
  • Author:JIM PROVANCE
  • Publication:Toledo Blade

Two years after Ohio voters approved one of the strictest public smoking bans in the country, some lawmakers hope to poke three holes in it for private clubs, family owned businesses, and outdoor patios.

A Senate bill could come to a committee hearing when lawmakers return to Columbus after the Thanksgiving recess, but time is rapidly running out in the lame-duck session.

Patrick Carroll of Cincinnati, president of the Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association, argued Senate Bill 346 is simply designed to make the law match what voters thought they were approving in 2006.

"At face value, the ballot issue said private clubs would be exempt," he said.

"Eighty percent of people are not privy to a computer where the rest of the ballot issue was printed. The ballot issue didn't say you couldn't have employees and you couldn't have customers. We want to clarify what people voted for."