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News Summary

Plenty of tough proposals await Iowa lawmakers

Publication Date: 2009-01-07
  • Author:MIKE GLOVER
  • Publication:Forbes, NY

The Iowa Legislature doesn't convene until next week, but lawmakers already face a hefty agenda ranging from toughening the state's smoking ban to regulating the mortgage industry.

Bills addressing those issues have already been drafted and will greet legislators when the gavel falls Monday morning...

When the Legislature decided to ban smoking in bars and restaurants, lawmakers put in place an exemption for the gambling floors of casinos around the state. At the time, backers conceded there was no logical reason for the exemption, but argued they didn't want to do battle with the powerful gambling lobby. Smith has drafted a measure to end that exemption.

A potential fallout from that measure would be to open the gates for a debate on expanding the state's gambling industry, a discussion that hasn't surfaced for three years. With a sour economy hammering the state's budget, additional money from gambling profits may well be appealing for some lawmakers.

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