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Smoking ban OK'd

Publication Date: 2009-03-05
  • Author:Jonathan Ellis
  • Publication:Sioux Falls (SD) Argus-Leader

Governor's signature would put law in effect starting July 1

Several state senators switched their votes Wednesday on a controversial smoking ban, paving the way for South Dakota to join a growing list of states that ban smoking in virtually all businesses.

It was one of the most-watched votes of this legislative session so far, and it came one month after an almost identical bill died on the Senate floor by one vote. But in that one month, a second bill that started in the House passed there by a comfortable margin.

That put the issue - and the pressure - back in the Senate, where lawmakers were deluged with thousands of e-mails and phone calls on the issue, most coming from people who wanted the restrictions.

The state House still must agree to changes in the bill made by the Senate, or the two chambers could sort out the differences in a conference.

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