Bill that bans smoking in businesses killed in Senate

Posted on: 9:16 am, February 17, 2013, by , updated on: 03:29pm, February 18, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY–A piece of legislation that would have done away with smoking inside businesses was snuffed out at the state Capitol.

The Senate General Government Committee voted 6-2 against the bill.

The “Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplace Act” would have allowed local governments to adopt stricter smoking ordinances that aren’t currently allowed.

Gov. Fallin came out in favor of the bill

However, there was a lot of opposition, especially from restaurant owners.

Oklahoma business owner Ed Lynn, like many business owners, spent thousands of dollars to accommodate all customers.

“That environment has separate ventilation and has a wall that separates it from the rest of the restaurant,” Lynn said. “We do have a smoking environment that conforms to state law as it is right now.”

Senate Bill 36 would have changed that, causing businessmen like Lynn to lose a lot of money.

“Basically what it does, it will penalize businesses that have been playing by the rules,” said Senator Kyle Loveless. “Places like Cattleman’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, restaurants that have paid $30,000 to do separate ventilation systems.”