Yesterday, the Senate passed what started out as a “smokefree” workplace bill. As it currently stands, the bill will still allow smoking in many workplaces; bars & taverns, casinos, membership clubs, nursing homes and mental health facilities to name a few. The bill even prevents local communities from protecting casino workers from secondhand smoke. If this bill becomes law in its current form, it would not only be the weakest law in the Midwest, it would be one of the worst laws in the entire nation.
The next step is what is known as a conference committee. During this process appointed members from each chamber will try to work out the differences in the Senate and House versions of the bill. If a compromise is reached the bill will travel back to each chamber for a final vote where no additional changes can be made. The House and Senate will both have to pass the conference committee version of the bill before March 8 in order for it to advance to the Governor’s desk for signing.
Conference committee is our final opportunity to strengthen this bill and pass a strong smokefree workplace law in 2012. We cannot do it without your support. This legislation could provide meaningful protection for Hoosiers, but in its current form it’s just smoke and mirrors.
Once the members of the conference committee are announced, we will send you an update with a call to action asking the conferees to take the opportunity to strengthen the bill.
Please contact your senator right away to tell them that bars & taverns must be smoke-free and local control must be restored. Remind your Senator that all Hoosiers deserve protection from secondhand smoke.