By Jacie Shoaf

After six consecutive years of pushing a statewide smoking

ban

, supporters say they are confident one will

pass by the end of the 2012 legislative session.

This year's version includes bars and restaurants, but it

allows for smoking on gaming floor of casinos; in cigar and hookah bars; and in

fraternal, social and veterans clubs.

Those exemptions reflect an effort to work around an area

— who to exclude from the ban — that has tripped previous years'

efforts.

"We think we've found a nice sweet spot, although all

of us would like to pass a pure bill – 100 percent no exemptions,"

said its author, Rep.

Eric Turner

, R-Marion.

Senate

President Pro Tem David Long

, R- Fort Wayne, said a complete ban –

one that includes casinos and bars – does not have the support needed to

pass.

"If you get 95 percent of what you're trying to get in

the world of the Legislature, that's a big win," Long said. "You take

that and move forward from there. Sometimes you have to be patient and it takes

many steps to get where you want to go."

He said there's "a fair chance" a bill will pass

if it includes exceptions for casinos and bars.

Turner said that while his bill exempts casinos' gaming

floors, it includes all bars – even those on the inside of Indiana's 14

casinos.

"Since we have passed similar legislation out of the

House for the past five years, we are hopeful the bill can move through the

House without amendments and allow the Senate to consider this compromise

smoking ban," Turner said in a press release.

Turner co-authored the bill along with Rep. Tim Brown,

R-Crawfordsville, Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, and Rep. Peggy Welch,

D-Bloomington.

Proponents said the measure, House Bill 1149, has received

support from the Indiana Hospital Association, the Indiana State Medical

Association, the American Heart Association and other medical groups.

In an interview last week, Gov.

Mitch Daniels

also said the implementation of a statewide smoking ban is on

his agenda.

Reporter Lauren Casey of The Statehouse File contributed to

this story.

The above is one of an

ongoing series of reports from the Statehouse File by students at the Franklin

College Pulliam School of Journalism.

0
0
0
0
0