Senate approves smoking ban

Jamison Lamp

Jamison Lamp

Talk of a smoking ban has filled the halls of the state capitol, local bars and restaurants, homes and college campuses for the past month.

On March 4, HB 1240 passed the Senate 21 to 14 with an amendment that changed violations of the bill from a class 2 misdemeanor to a petty offense. The amended bill will now have to be approved by the House.

If the bill and its amendment are passed in the House, the bill would then go to the governor’s office. If Gov. Rounds signs the bill, it would become law July 1.

HB 1240 previously passed the House and Senate Health and Human Services committees and passed in the House 43-27 on Feb. 23.

District 7 Reps. Larry Tidemann and Carol Pitts and Sen. Pam Merchant all voted in favor of the smoking ban in their respective houses.