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News Summary

Smoke ban plan restored to near its original form

Publication Date: 2007-02-27
  • Author:Don Davis
  • Publication:The Forum

A Senate committee overturned three days’ worth of northern Minnesota senators’ work Monday when it restored a statewide smoking ban proposal to near its original form.

The panel removed provisions that would have allowed smoking in bars if they install ventilation equipment and to forbid local ordinances stronger than the state law. Northern senators successfully changed the bill in an earlier committee to include those provisions, which many smoking ban supporters said weakened it.

As passed by the Senate State and Local Government Operations and Oversight Committee, the measure bans smoking in workplaces statewide. The committee sent the bill to the full Senate on a 7-4 vote.

A similar bill is making its way through House committees.

Allowing local governments to adopt stricter nosmoking ordinances is important, Sen. Tony Lourey, DFLKerrick, said, especially since two local governments in his district – Carlton County and Cloquet – have tougher ordinances.

“I could not go home to these folks and tell them I preempted their local ordinances,� Lourey said.

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