By Jacie Shoaf
The Statehouse File
The House Public Health Committee passed a statewide smoking ban bill 9-3 on Wednesday and sent it to the full House for consideration.
House Bill 1149 would ban smoking in restaurants, bars and almost all other workplaces, with exceptions for casinos, hookah bars, private clubs, and tobacco shops.
Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, co-author of the bill, started the meeting by presenting several amendments crafted after a hearing last week on the bill. They added an exemption for the tobacco shops and clarified that the gambling exemption applied only to casinos, not bars or events with small-time gambling.
Another amendment clarified that business owners can call in police help to remove someone who violates the law, relieving business owners of that responsibility.
Rep. David Frizzel, R-Indianapolis, was among those who voted no. He said after his vote that while he understands people's emotional reasoning behind the bill, he "supports their right to have personal freedom."
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