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News Summary

Bill targets smoking ban

Publication Date: 2008-11-21
  • Author:Charles S. Johnson
  • Publication:Montana Standard

Senator seeks to exempt bars, casinos from 2009 law.

Legislators next year may face more contentious debates over an explosive issue they thought they had resolved in 2005 --banning smoking in bars and casinos.

Sen. Jerry Black, R-Shelby, is having a bill drafted to permanently exempt some 1,400 bars and casinos from a statewide smoking ban set to apply to these establishments Oct. 1, 2009.

His proposal would apply to only those bars and businesses that sought an exemption by June 30 from the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act.

This law banned smoking in all other Montana public buildings and indoor workplaces as of October 2005. It gave bars and casinos four more years to prepare for the ban.

Several business people, including one tavern owner, asked Black to submit the bill draft. Black said he isn't sure yet if he will actually introduce the bill and conceded it probably has "mixed to nil" chances of passing.

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