South Dakota - opponents try to stop extended smoking ban..

June 22, 2009 - South Dakota - the new law, which takes effect July 1,2009 extends a ban that has outlawed smoking in most public places since 2002 (smoking ban in most workplaces - bars & casinos exempted). Beginning July 1st, smoking will be allowed only in motel rooms and a limited number of cigar bars and smoke shops. (South Dakota - extends smoking ban effective July 1, 2009..)

Opponents of a statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants say they have collected enough signatures to put the law on hold for at least 17 months and send the issue to voters in November 2010. If the petitions are certified by the South Dakota Secretary of State, the controversial ban will not take effect July 1, 2009. Instead, powerful lobbies on both sides of the issue will begin a 16-month campaign culminating when voters finally decide the issue.

State law requires the signatures of 16,776 registered voters. Citizens for Individual Freedom, the group opposing the ban, on Monday, June 22nd will deliver the petitions to Secretary of State Chris Nelson to be certified.
According to Larry Mann, coordinator of the petition drive most of the signatures collected in the months since Governor Rounds signed the ban into law were collected by volunteers, and while some Deadwood casinos and area bars used employees to collect signatures, a few others were paid to carry clipboards.

Passed by legislators and signed by Governor Mike Rounds earlier this year, the ban caused an uproar among some restaurateurs and bar owners, who argue that banning smoking will hurt their businesses and violates their rights as property owners. Smoking already is banned in most workplaces and public buildings.

Reference: Smoking-ban foes play game of delay Petitions could force vote, stall new law for 17 months, Nestor Ramos,

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