Monday, June 2, 2008
Pennsylvania State Senator Robert Mellow of Lackawanna County will introduce legislation this week that would at least in part preserve local control when it comes to a statewide smoking ban. Local ordinances in several counties and municipalities including Allegheny County have been struck down as being unconstitutional. Under Mellow’s plan those municipalities would be allowed to re-approve those ordinances if the state institutes a statewide ban. The only exception would be if the state law is more restrictive than the municipal ordinance. Governor Ed Rendell continues to say he will veto any bill that would strike down Philadelphia’s smoking ban. He says he would like to see all local initiative rights preserved but he would consider the Mellow amendment if it gets to his desk because he feels it is important to get a smoking ban passed.