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News Summary

Smoking ban may be left to voters

Publication Date: 2009-04-01
  • Author:Melanie Brandert
  • Publication:Sioux Falls (SD) Argus-Leader

Bar owners launch bid to put law on ballot

A group of liquor establishment owners took out a petition Tuesday to force the newly signed smoking ban to a public vote in 2010...

Rose said a coalition of 850 to 900 liquor dealers is behind the effort, claiming they will lose business. They said bans have hurt bars in surrounding states...

The group would need to collect 16,776 valid signatures by June 29. If successful, that will stop the smoking ban from taking effect July 1 and give bar owners 16 months to allow smoking in their establishments.

If enough signatures are obtained, then state residents would vote on the ban in November 2010.

Darrin Smith, senior director for the American Heart Association in Sioux Falls, called the group's effort an abuse of the process to refer legislation to a public vote.

"The referred law process is in place to allow the public to overturn unpopular policies," he said. "This is not the case with the smoke-free law because we know it is supported by a majority of the public."

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