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LEGISLATION THAT WOULD HAVE AMENDED THE STATEWIDE SMOKING BAN IS DEFEATED IN ASSEMBLY HEALTH COMMITTEE
By a vote of 16-8, the Assembly Health Committee voted down legislation that would have amended the statewide smoking ban by allowing smoking in bars that installed state-of-the-art air filtration devices. This legislation, known as the Destito/Meier bill, was introduced in both houses of the legislature and had numerous co-sponsors.
While the committee vote count appeared to be much closer leading up to the actual vote, all of the undecided members, as well as some of those members we thought were with us (including one co-sponsor) unfortunately voted the other way. In addition, the State Senate adjourned on Tuesday without taking any vote on the bill.
The practical effect of this disappointing defeat is that this bill has no chance of passage during this legislative session.
While we always knew from the beginning that amending the smoking ban would be an extremely uphill battle, we gave it our very best efforts. Along with our friends and allies, we collected 50,000 signatures from patrons and citizens who supported this bill, brought over 200 people to Albany for a lobby day, made thousands of phone calls and sent thousands of emails to our legislators, and garnered significant press attention to our cause.
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