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State smoking ban may become a reality

Publication Date: 2008-02-15
  • Author:Martha Stoddard
  • Publication:North Platte Telegraph, NE

Opponents of a ban on smoking in public buildings and workplaces will have one more chance to scuttle the proposal in the Nebraska Legislature.

But the ban will pass if state senators stick with the positions they took Thursday.

Lawmakers voted 33-13 to strip a provision from Legislative Bill 395 that would have allowed local communities to opt out of a statewide smoking ban.

They also rejected an amendment that would have allowed smoking to continue at Horsemen's Park in Omaha.

Removing the opt-out provision leaves LB 395 close to its original form, which was modeled after Lincoln’s smoking ban. It would allow only minimal exceptions to the prohibition.

State Sen. Joel Johnson of Kearney, chief sponsor of LB 395, had said he would drop the bill if the opt-out provision remained. The provision was added last year in an attempt to reach a compromise with opponents of the ban.

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