Louisiana - legislation to expand smoking ban involuntarily deferred..

May 26, 2010 - A House panel rejected a Senate-passed measure Tuesday, May 25th that would have banned smoking in Louisiana bars and casinos — likely ending the battle in the 2010 legislative session. The state Health and Welfare Committee voted 8-4 to involuntarily defer the legislation.

Smoking would be banned in casinos and bars under a bill approved Wednesday, May 12th by the Louisiana Senate. The Senate voted 23-12 for the measure.

The legislation next moves to the Louisiana House, where a less-stringent casino smoking bill died last week in a health committee. (Louisiana - legislature want to expand smoking ban to include casinos and bars..

SB348 died under heavy lobbying by casino and liquor industry representatives. They argued that a no-smoking requirement would lead to lost state and local revenues because of fewer patrons as well as employee layoffs at affected establishments because of less business.

Senate Bill 348 sponsor state Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Grosse Tete, disputed the financial loss arguments, citing studies that showed revenue gains or no impact in other states where casino and bar smoking bans have been implemented.

Reference: Committee rejects smoking ban bill by MARSHA SHULER, Advocate Capitol News Bureau, 5/26/2010.

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