Leglislative leaders are snuffing out talk of revisiting the state’s ban on smoking in public places. Supporters of the Smoke-Free Air Act say the law should be extended to include casinos, while critics want the ban scaled back. It appears that neither side will get their way.
Democratic House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy claims most lawmakers feel they debated the matter enough last year. "The consensus among the majority of the members is to let sleeping dogs lie and health groups are not advocating for a change," McCarthy said.
Marshalltown Democrat Mark Smith offered a bill on day one of the session to extend the ban to casinos. He says he did so in order to honor a campaign promise, but he accepts the general consensus to leave the law alone.
House Speaker Pat Murphy, a Democrat from Dubuque, says one major supporter of the ban, the American Cancer Society, wants to give the new law time to work on its own.
"So, I don’t expect us to do anything with regards to the indoor smoking ban," Murphy said. Republican leaders call parts of the ban "silly," but agree it’s not likely to see action this year.