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News Summary

Virginia Senate rejects House changes to smoking-ban bill

Publication Date: 2/17/2009
  • Author:Julian Walker
  • Publication:Norfolk (VA) Virginian-Pilot

The Virginia Senate revitalized a tough smoking ban bill Monday by rejecting several House of Delegates amendments that proponents felt would weaken the legislation.

Stripped out of the bill were House modifications to permit smoking in any establishment during hours that they did not admit minors or when the place is rented for a private function. Also removed was an amendment that required a separate smoking space in a restaurant to be divided by only a door, not a room with an independent ventilation system.

The Senate action came after several legislators met last week with Gov. Timothy M. Kaine in an effort to restore a compromise bill that would ban smoking in many bars and restaurants across the state.

The Senate and House versions of smoking ban legislation are expected to end up in a conference committee where the differences between the two versions can be resolved, said Sen. Ralph Northam, D-Norfolk.