Pa. Senate delays measure on smoking ban

Posted: June 19, 2007

HARRISBURG - The state Senate delayed consideration of a ban on smoking in public and at nearly every workplace until next week, after Republicans were unable to agree on a set of exemptions, a top GOP senator said yesterday.

Republicans, who control the Senate, 29-21, have worked behind closed doors to secure majority support for an amendment that would create many exemptions in the bill.

As drafted, that legislation would ban smoking in just about every public space and workplace, including casinos, restaurants, bars, sports arenas and clubs.

Senators have been pressed by owners of casinos, clubs and bars for exemptions. But Republicans have been unable to achieve broad support for any of the exemptions, said Sen. Joseph Scarnati (R., Jefferson), the chamber's president pro tempore. Any bill must also pass the House, where several similar bills have been introduced. Gov. Rendell has said he supports the broadest ban. - AP

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