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News Summary

Smoking bill amendment would allow opt-out

Publication Date: 2007-03-06
  • Author:JoANNE YOUNG
  • Publication:Lincoln Journal Star

State senators added an hour and a half to the debate on a statewide smoking ban Monday and made some progress by passing an amendment to the bill.

But there are more amendments to come, including one that could make the bill more palatable to opponents by allowing cities and counties to opt out of the statewide ban, in whole or in part.

Sen. Mick Mines of Blair outlined the changes his amendment would include: * The bill would become effective June 1, 2008, except in Lincoln and Omaha, where the law would not become effective until June 1, 2009. The original bill would become effective in September, if passed.

* Communities could decide by a vote of the people or by a vote of a city council or county board if they want to reject the ban.

* Inspections by health directors or law enforcement officers for compliance, without a warrant, would not be allowed...

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