Sent to House Judiciary Committee for review
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2013) — The bill to enact a statewide smoking ban in Kentucky is likely dead for this session of the General Assembly.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday sent House Bill 190 to the House Judiciary Committee for review. The House Health and Welfare Committee approved the bill in early February and sent it to the House floor.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he does not expect the proposed legislation to make it back to the full House during the remaining days of the session.
The legislation — co-sponsored by Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, and Rep. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville — would prohibit indoor smoking in all indoor workplaces and public places, including restaurants and bars.
Workers and the public need more protection from smoking, which costs Kentucky employers $3.8 billion a year in lost productivity because of illness and smoking-related problems, Westrom said previously. The state’s Medicaid program alone spends nearly $500 million a year on smoking-related illnesses, she said.
Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, an opponent of the bill, told Kentucky Health News on Feb. 21 that he did not think HB 190 had more than 41 votes in the 100-member House.
Westrom told news agencies she is not willing to declare the bill dead until the General Assembly adjourns, but she acknowledged that it did not have enough votes in the House to pass.
Gov. Steve Beshear is an advocate of a statewide smoking ban, as is the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. David Adkisson, president of the Chamber, said the business community supports a smoking ban because of lost productivity and higher health insurance premiums for businesses.