Statewide smoking ban doesn't have enough support in House, for - News, Weather & Sports

Statewide smoking ban doesn't have enough support in House, for now

Governor Steve Beshear Governor Steve Beshear

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - There isn't enough support yet for a statewide smoking ban to bring legislation up for a vote in Kentucky's House, Speaker Greg Stumbo said Wednesday.

But Stumbo, who supports the proposed ban, said leaders are "within striking distance" of having enough votes. He couldn't say how many more they needed to pass House Bill 173.

Gov. Steve Beshear, who has repeatedly called on lawmakers to pass the smoking ban, said he's working actively to cobble together the votes.

"I continue to work with House members, trying to convince them that we need to pass this," Beshear said. "We're just working person by person to make sure we can get enough of them ready to vote for it."

Beshear said he didn't think supporters would need to change the bill and make concessions to opponents. The measure would ban smoking in workplaces, including bars and restaurants.

The bill passed a House committee in early February, but leaders have delayed a full House support because there wasn't enough support.

Stumbo said concessions likely will not be made, because lawmakers who oppose the bill have various reasons for doing so.

Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, is the bill's sponsor. It also has support from Republicans in the House and Senate. Opponents have publicly said it would curtail individual freedoms and would hurt businesses who rely on customers who are smokers and non-smokers.

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