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News Summary

Bills banning smoking move forward in Va. Senate

Publication Date: 2009-01-29
  • Author:Julian Walker
  • Publication:The Virginian-Pilot, VA

A state Senate panel this morning passed a slew of bills that would place restrictions on public smoking in certain venues.

Three of the proposals that advanced from the Senate Education and Health committee are sponsored by South Hampton Roads legislators. Sens. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, and Fred Quayle, R-Suffolk, are both carrying bills that would give localities enhanced powers to restrict indoor smoking.

Sen. Ralph Northam, D-Norfolk, has a bill that would ban smoking in indoor restaurants and bars. That measure has the backing of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, who this year has proposed a 30-cent tax hike on cigarettes to help balance the recession-ravaged state budget.

Another bill that was introduced by Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, D-Arlington, would ban smoking indoors in most public buildings.