For the third year in a row an effort to create a smoking ban in St. Charles County is underway.
The St. Charles County Council began considering a bill Monday night that would restrict indoor smoking, but exempt any establishment that requires customers be at least 21-years-old. That provision would mean people could continue to light up in many bars and gambling areas.
(scroll down to ready a copy of the bill)
Councilman Joe Cronin is the bill’s sponsor and said a ban is critical to protecting public health.
The owners of more than three dozen restaurants and bars in St. Louis County filed into the County Council chambers in Clayton today with one request - please let us continue to allow smoking.
The owners were there at the request of Councilman Mike O'Mara, who's introduced a bill eliminating nearly all the exemptions in the county's smoking ban. Currently, bars that make less than 25 percent of their revenue from food may receive an exemption. Bowling alleys and casino gaming floors are also exempt.
Republican members of the Missouri House who smoke will still be able to, while Democrats won’t.
A new rule adopted today by the full House allows each party caucus within the House to set its own rules for such things as whether a lawmaker can smoke in his or her own Capitol office. Shelley Keeney (R, Marble Hill) chairs the House GOP Caucus.
“I do think it was a good compromise," Keeney said. "Clearly there were a wide range of views and opinions on the issue.”
The Missouri Supreme Court will not hear a legal challenge to Springfield's smoking ban, officially ending a lawsuit filed by a bar owner.
Attorney Jonathan Sternberg says the state Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a legal challenge by Jean Doublin, owner of Ruthie's Bar in Springfield.
In June, an appeals court rejected Sternberg's argument that the Springfield law conflicts with the state's clean air act. He says a provision in the state law allows smoking in bars and taverns, which overrides the Springfield law.
UPDATE: As of 9:25 a.m., Quinn has vetoed this bill. Gov. Pat Quinn isn't giving any hints about what he'll do with a gambling bill that Illinois lawmakers sent to his desk. Today is the deadline for Quinn to take action on legislation that would establish five new casinos in the state. It would also allow slot machines at horse racing tracks.