Gov. Daniels willing to help pass statewide smoking ban

Mar 5, 2012

Indiana House and Senate lawmakers will meet Monday to hammer out the details of a final version of statewide smoking ban legislation.  For his part, Governor Mitch Daniels says he’s willing to help the cause.

The House passed a bill with exemptions for gaming facilities, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco shops and fraternal order clubs.  Bars and taverns were only exempted for the first 18 months.  The Senate added more, including a full exemption for bars, taverns and mental health and senior living facilities.

Governor Daniels says he supports a ban with as few exemptions as possible and that he’d prefer the House version, adding he’s willing to make his case for lawmakers on the fence.

“We’ve been talking to the legislators every day but if there are some, if there are others that are still wavering and I can help, I will.”

State Senator Ron Alting (R-Lafayette), a co-sponsor of the bill, says the governor’s support helped make the bill’s progress in the Senate possible.  However, he doesn’t think Daniels can do much more.

“It’s more about rights and that is a philosophical belief.  And even Governor Daniels, I don’t think, is going to influence members of the Senate on changing their philosophical difference in that.”

Alting believes in order for the ban to pass the Senate, bars and taverns will have to be exempted.