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.”