Smoking still allowed in Mo. House Capitol offices | St. Louis Public Radio

Smoking still allowed in Mo. House Capitol offices

Jan 13, 2011

Though the recent trend in Missouri has been to go smoke free, the Missouri House voted today to continue to allow smoking in members' offices in the Capitol building.

Smoking is already banned on the House floor and in the public viewing chambers above.  But an attempt was made today to extend that ban to the entire House side of the State Capitol, including the individual offices of every House member.  The measure was sponsored by State Representative Jeanette Mott Oxford (D, St. Louis).

"We should care about the air that we share and being a good (role) model for the school children that visit this building by voting to make this a space that is free of second-hand smoke," Oxford said.

But House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka) argued that lawmakers who smoke should be allowed to in their own offices, and the measure was defeated on a mainly party line vote.

Representatives did, however, vote to ban smoking from a back gallery where lawmakers regularly take breaks.

The House voted without dissent Thursday to approve new rules to govern the chamber -- rules designed to give more power to the Democratic minority.

Democratic leaders will be allowed to choose the committee assignments for most members of their party.