Statewide Smoking Ban May Be Reignited

A statewide smoking ban that went up in smoke in the Legislature last year will likely be reignited when Democrats take control of the Assembly.

Opposition to the ban last year came mostly from the powerful Tavern League lobby, but the Republicans who controlled the Assembly didn't push much to get it passed.

Supporters are hoping for more success with both chambers now controlled by Democrats.

Also in the past eight months, five more Wisconsin communities and Dane County have passed their own smoking bans.

American Cancer Society lobbyist Eric Schutt says he believes there's now enough votes in the Legislature to pass the ban.

The bill's sponsor, Senator Fred Risser of Madison, says he's working on a new version he hopes will pass early in the session


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  • by John Location: Chippewa Falls on Nov 22, 2008 at 11:27 AM
    I am a non smoker that works in the bar business. Most of the smoking workers that I have talked to(in non smoking Eau Claire bars)agree with the smoking ban in taverns. Most that don't agree with Eau Claire city's ban do think a state wide ban is needed to level the playing field. In my opinion it is unfair to let one bar in town smoke but not another. Eau Claire county was to pass a ban after the city did but they backed out stating "more important issues to deal with" as the reason. Just pass the law state wide and be done with it! Why put off the inevitable? It is and always will be a health issue for both smoking and non smoking workers and patrons.
  • by a non smoker on Nov 16, 2008 at 12:17 PM
    Kory....What about the non smoking employees of these restaurants and bars? We should have the freedom to breathe clean air and dont tell me not to work there... We should have the freedom to work where we want. No offense... just my thoughts.
  • by Anonymous Location: stanley on Nov 12, 2008 at 10:38 AM
    Well now the democrats have started, We will have so many, laws that will change. I can see it all so clearly!
  • by Bob Location: Chicago on Nov 10, 2008 at 05:45 AM
    The UK is considering lowering rates to compensate for the devaluation of pubs due to their ban.
  • by Philo Location: Eau Claire on Nov 9, 2008 at 03:59 PM
    Let Freedom Ring...
  • by kory Location: eau claire on Nov 9, 2008 at 06:17 AM
    Why do we look to the government to make decisions for us? If you dont want to smoke, dont. Its that simple. Why does there have to be a law stating it is illegal to smoke in a bar or restaurant? I personally believe our government already has too many STUPID laws that are completely unnecessary. Why do people insist on adding more rules? I thought we lived in the land of the free! Rules and regulations, along with stiff taxation is why the people of this country fought for their freedom from the monarchy over 200 years ago. I would hate to see some unstable folks deciding it would be good to start an all out war on this country because of the unreal amount of laws placed on the people. My God, smoking a crime? Is anything in our country going to be LEGAL in 20 years?
  • by Bob Location: Chicago on Nov 8, 2008 at 09:39 PM
    How can the American Cancer Society hire lobbyists. Aren't they supposed to be a tax exempt charity? I wonder if the IRS is looking into their tax exempt status.
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