Louisiana - further restrictions on smoking ban snuffed out..

June 10, 2009 - Efforts to further restrict smoking in public venues appear dead for the 2009 regular legislative session.

The death knell came as the Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee voted overwhelmingly against state Senate-passed legislation even after being “watered-down.” Senate Bill 186 would have banned smoking in all Louisiana bars, casinos and other gambling establishments. That was the version the Senate passed May 28 on a 22-10 vote.

The House rejected on June 2 a similar measure that would have banned smoking in bars and casinos on a 29 for to 71 against vote. Rep. Rob Marionneaux proposed a compromise that would have banned smoking only at bars that sell food. Lobbyists for casino and other gambling interests continued to oppose the legislation even after their businesses were exempted from the proposed ban.

The House panel approved Marionneaux’s amendment on a 10-5 vote. But later, the panel rejected the amended bill with six committee members voting for it and 11 voting against it.

Reference: Smoking ban snuffed out in committee by MARSHA SHULER, Advocate Capitol News Bureau, 6/10/2009.

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