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BusINess » Government » Indiana Gov. Daniels would sign statewide smoking ban

Indiana Gov. Daniels would sign statewide smoking ban

Gov. Mitch Daniels is ready to sign a statewide smoking ban into law if the General Assembly sends it to him.

“I would definitely sign one and there seems to be growing momentum for one,” Daniels said.

State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, plans again to sponsor legislation in January that would prohibit indoor smoking statewide.

Brown has won House approval of a smoking ban with exemptions in previous legislative sessions. This time he is seeking a smoking ban with no exemptions.

The Republican governor said he hesitated initially at supporting the idea of a statewide ban rather than leaving the decision to local communities. But Daniels said towns and cities have shown it’s possible to enact a smoking ban with significant benefits and minimal cost.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce supports the smoking ban.

In prior years, the Indiana Senate has stopped smoking ban legislation by not even allowing a committee vote, let alone bringing the proposal before the full, Republican-controlled Senate.

Daniels said he’ll urge Senate leaders to allow debate on a smoking ban.

“I’ll sure talk to them about it. I think folks deserve to vote on this,” Daniels said.

Illinois has had a statewide smoking ban in effect since 2008.

Legislation is pending in Illinois that would allow smoking in the state’s riverboat casinos if the closest neighboring state allows smoking in its casinos. If that measure became law in Illinois, a statewide smoking ban in Indiana that includes casinos would have the effect of keeping most Chicago-area Illinois casinos smoke-free.

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