TOPEKA – The House is considering a motion to adopt a bill to create a comprehensive statewide smoking ban.
The measure, Senate substitute House Bill 2221, would bar smoking indoors, with limited exceptions including state-owned casinos. It was passed last year by the Senate.
More than two dozen supporters of the proposal have filled the House gallery wearing black tee-shirts urging the measure’s passage.
The House Health and Human Services Committee earlier this year heard testimony on a second measure, House Bill 2642, that was drafted by traditional opponents of a statewide smoking ban. That bill allows bars and restaurants to pay a $100 per square foot annual fee to have smoking in their establishments. It also overturns currently established local smoking bans, which are generally stricter.
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Traditional smoking ban supporters have called the second measure a step back in public health.
“This will be your vote today to cast a vote for clean air,” said Rep. Charles Roth, R-Salina, urging support of the stronger bill.
Check back here for updates on the debate.