Tuesday, July 21, 2009

St. Louis County Residents Could Vote on Smoking Ban In November

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 9:35 AM

click to enlarge FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/CAROLINESPICS
  • flickr.com/photos/carolinespics
But first the County Council must pass a proposal that would allow residents a voice in the matter.

The council could vote on the proposed referendum as early as tonight, allowing the issue to go before voters in November.

Council member Barbara Fraser tells the Post-Dispatch this morning: "I think a ban would be great for the county, and the timing is good. For some time now, I have been hearing from many municipalities, and particularly from my constituents, that they want the county to take the bull by the horns on this issue."


Yesterday Fraser had the county counselor draw up a proposed ordinance similar to the one Clayton officials passed last week that prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants and 80 percent of hotel rooms. Under the legislation, businesses may allow customers to smoke on outdoor patios.

The county is facing pressure from St. Louis City and suburbs such as Kirkwood and Wildwood, which are considering smoking bans but fear their business owners may lose customers if the entire region fails to go smoke free.

In 2006, the St. Louis County Council narrowly rejected (4-3) a bill that would have banned indoor smoking at bars and restaurants. St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley helped defeat that bill and it looks like he will once more do what he can to defeat Fraser's proposal.

Yesterday Dooley's spokesman Mac Scott told the Post-Dispatch that Dooley only supports a smoking ban if it's a statewide prohibition.

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