Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle today said he wants to get rid of a state law which forbids cities and counties from enacting anti-smoking ordinances.
Current state law forbids local governments from enacting “no smoking” ordinances that are more restrictive than state law. “I would suggest that we allow local areas the control to determine whether or not smoking goes on in their public establishments, in restaurants and places like that,” Nussle says.
City councils in Ames and Iowa City passed local ordinances banning smoking in bars and restaurants, but those smoking bans were tossed out by the courts as a violation of state law.
While Nussle supports letting city councils and county boards of supervisors establish local rules on smoking that are more restrictive than state law, Nussle opposes giving those same local officials the authority to pass restrictions on large-scale hog confinements that are tougher than state law.
Nussle made his comments this afternoon at a forum that focused on health care issues. His Democratic opponent, Chet Culver, also appeared at the forum and told reporters afterwards that he agrees with Nussle that cities and counties should be able to adopt ordinances which ban smoking in bars and restaurants.