We told you last week that supporters of an expansion of the Clean Indoor Air Act are readying for another fight.
Talk Business has learned that no later than next Monday, proponents of removing exemptions to the "no smoking in businesses" law may file legislation.
State Sen. Tracy Steele, a lead sponsor of the act from 2006, says he’ll carry the bill and expects to file it "no later than Monday."
Steele, D-North Little Rock, and the bill’s supporters will push for a removal of two current exemptions. The first will push for an extension of "no smoking" to all bars and restaurants and the second effort is expected to take away an exemption that currently includes hotels and motels.
The Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act, which was passed during a special legislative session during Gov. Mike Huckabee’s tenure, went into effect on July 21, 2006. It requires most workplaces to be smoke-free; however, a number of exceptions were placed in the law. They include:
- Bars and restaurants that exclude those under the age of 21
- Workplaces with fewer than 3 employees
- Gaming halls at Oaklawn and Southland racetracks
- Hotels and motels with less than 25 rooms
- Retail tobacco stores
- Designated areas for patients at long-term care facilities
There is already an online campaign that has organized to promote a broader smoke-free workplace at the web site www.cleartheairarkansas.com. A bartender, musician and waitress are featured in the ads, suggesting that an effort to include exempt restaurants and bars will be the focus of the legislation to come.