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American Cancer Society says smoking ban exemption would be unconstitutional

Publication Date: 2009-04-08
  • Author:Paul Hammel
  • Publication:Kearney Hub

The American Cancer Society is making a last-minute bid to snuff out a bill to allow cigar bars in Nebraska.

The society, citing a legal opinion by former Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Krivosha, claimed Tuesday that the cigar bar bill is unconstitutional "special legislation'' because it would provide an economic benefit to those bars.

Krivosha said the cigar bar bill faces the same constitutionality problem that prompted a judge to strike down an Omaha ordinance that had attempted to exempt keno bars from the city's smoking ban law.

State Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha, who sponsored the cigar bar measure, Legislative Bill 355, said Krivosha is wrong and should know that city ordinances don't have the same force of law as a state statute.

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