Friday, June 13, 2008

County Council President Discusses Smoking Ban

Democrat Rich Fitzgerald says the new law is a good first step, but communities should be allowed to go further. The Allegheny County State Senate delegation got a commitment from legislators that the county will be allowed to re-instate restrictions passed last year but disallowed by the courts. Philadelphia is the only community now permitted to impose stricter standards, but Fitzgerald says all areas of the state should be treated the same way. Legislation extending the privilege should pass by the end of the year, he says.

On a long list of exemptions to the ban, the one that bothers him most is for casinos, where 25% of a facility can be "smoking"--or up to 50% if business suffers. The Allegheny County law treated casinos like other businesses, which is how Fitzgerald thinks it should be.

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