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Oklahoma House passes bill giving local governments control over smoking

Publication Date: 2012-03-02

The House approved a bill Thursday that would allow local governments to ban smoking in public places, despite the addition of two amendments that were intended to derail the measure.

A floor amendment added to the bill would give cities, towns and counties the power to pass ordinances repealing state laws that ban smoking in such places as museums and government office buildings.

“This is the ultimate local control,” said Rep. David Derby, R-Owasso, the amendment's author.

Another amendment would prohibit local governments from passing laws to prohibit smoking in private dining and social clubs. Rep. Ron Peters, R-Tulsa, the amendment's author, said the measure also would exempt country clubs.

After both amendments were added, efforts were made to delay taking up the bill; one lawmaker suggested postponing action until March 19 and another wanted to put off a vote indefinitely...

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