Friday, February 15, 2008

Smoking Ban Measures Fail

As predicted earlier, the four measures to restrict smoking in Virginia restaurants were killed in subcommittee last week. The members of the House ABC and Gaming subcommittee of the General Laws Committee proved their unwillingness to allow the measures to go to vote before the full House. Why are they afraid to let all the people's elected representatives vote on this? As reported in The Free Lance-Star this morning:
The bills in question were four the Senate had passed; the House ABC and gaming subcommittee of the General Laws Committee had killed all House bills to ban smoking last week.

The vote was not recorded, but was done on a voice vote, and surprised no one, since that subcommittee has killed smoking bans in the past. House of Delegates rules do not provide for recorded subcommittee votes.

"These guys don't want to be on the record on matters like that," Gov. Tim Kaine told reporters after the subcommittee meeting. "The leadership of the House is very afraid to have this voted on in an up or down [manner]."

We'll have to wait and see what happens next year. Meanwhile, we will continue to favor establishments that make the no-smoking decision on their own.

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