Statewide smoking ban proposal not brought up in committee

A statewide smoking ban was scheduled to be heard in a Frankfort committee Thursday...but it didnt' happen.

Democratic Representative Susan Westrom of Lexington was scheduled to present House Bill 289 to the health and welfare committee. This bill was filed last year, but this is the first time it has received a hearing.

The scheduled hearing came on the heels of a number of Kentucky towns passing their own bans. If this bill is made law, every indoor public or workplace, such as stores, restaurants, and office buildings, would have to go smoke free.

Westrom has said the bill would protect those who don't want to breathe cigarette smoke inside public places.

The issue has picked up a lot of support. Organizations such as the American cancer society and heart association are pushing it. The bill has also picked up the support of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

The committee meeeting ended just before 2pm, when the bill was supposed to be called. There were not enough members present to vote on the bill, because the House Republican caucus skipped the protest of the committee chairman's refusal to vote on a seperate, unrelated issue.

Gov. Steve Beshear has said he will sign such a bill into law if it makes it to his desk.

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