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Opponents of smoking ban gain a delay

Publication Date: 2009-07-28
  • Publication:Argus Leader

Attorney general predicts hearing within weeks after stay issued

South Dakota's statewide ban on smoking is headed to a courtroom - probably within a month - as bar and gaming facility owners successfully won a stay Monday in Hughes County Circuit Court.

The delay means smokers can continue to light up in bars, restaurants, Deadwood casinos and video gaming establishments. Ban opponents say the public should get to vote on the issue.

A hearing date has not been set, but one is expected quickly, said state Attorney General Larry Long.

"I can see a scenario where the judge has his decision within 30 days," Long said. "I think we'll see within two to three weeks, it'll go to trial."

Circuit Judge Mark Barnett of Pierre on Monday delayed enforcement of the smoking ban until the lawsuit is decided. The Legislature passed the law earlier this year to ban smoking in bars, Deadwood casinos and video lottery establishments.

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