Members of the Iowa House will meet behind closed doors this week to try to figure out what to so with a bill that would ban smoking in public places throughout the state. The House has already voted for a smoking ban with key exceptions — allowing smoking in casinos and in veteran’s organizations, but the Senate now has voted to ban smoking in all public places.
House Speaker Pat Murphy, a Democrat from Dubuque, says he can’t find 51 Democrats to back the smoking ban unless casinos can remain smoking zones. "Those are the cards we’re dealt with and we’re dealing with them the best we can," Murphy says. It means the outcome could hinge on whether some Republicans in the House choose to back the statewide smoking ban.
Representative Carmine Boal, a Republican from Ankeny, is among those who argued three weeks ago that there should be no smoking in casinos, but now Boal’s not sure how she’ll vote if the House debates the issue again.
"I usually have a definite opinion, but on this one I’m still waffling," she says.