Senate votes to back smoking ban |

Senate votes to back smoking ban

DENVER – The Senate on Thursday backed a bill that outlaws smoking in bars and restaurants and most other public places.Senators voted 19-15 with one excused in favor of the bipartisan measure, which now heads back to the House for reapproval. The ban is expected to pass there as soon as Friday because it is the same version the House passed earlier this session.The ban would still allow people to smoke in casinos. Sen. Jim Dyer, R-Centennial, said that provision made it “pure hypocrisy.”Sponsor Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver, said he didn’t want the casino exemption – passed by the House and Senate – but thought accepting it was the only way to get a smoking ban passed this year and protect the health of workers in bars and restaurants.”On balance, the bill we have isn’t something that everyone loves but one we can live with,” Grossman said after the vote.Grossman said he expects Gov. Bill Owens to sign the bill if it passes the House.Both the House and the Senate earlier passed the smoking ban but the Senate created a lot more exemptions than the House, leaving out bars that don’t sell a lot of food, bingo halls, racetracks and private clubs. That meant the two sides had to agree on what version they would re-vote on and earlier Thursday a committee picked the stricter House version at Grossman’s request.

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