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Oklahoma Senate Panel Kills Stricter Smoking Bans
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An Oklahoma Senate panel has snuffed out a measure that would have allowed cities and towns to enact stricter bans on smoking.
The Senate General Government Committee voted 6-2 on Monday against the proposal that was endorsed by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin in her State of the State address.
Gvoernor Fallin's office released this statement Monday afternoon:
“This is a victory for tobacco lobbyists and the tobacco industry. It’s a defeat for the state of Oklahoma and anyone who cares about improving our health. Moving forward, Governor Fallin will be pursuing alternative measures aimed at reducing deaths and illnesses caused by smoking and second hand smoke.”
The Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act by Ardmore Republican Sen. Frank Simpson would have allowed local governments to adopt stricter smoking ordinances than state law. Currently, municipalities are prohibited from doing so.
Simpson said his idea allowed more local control, but opponents argued it was unfair to businesses that had spent thousands of dollars complying with current state law that allows, for example, smoking in bars or separately ventilated smoking rooms in restaurants.
"It came down to a decision over property rights," State Senator and Committee Chairman Greg Treat said. Treat was one of six who voted down the bill. "It was a tough choice, it was the first time I went to a hearing and did not have my mind made up," Treat said. The Senator said in the end, after an hour and a half meeting he voted in favor of allowing businesses to control what happens on their own property.
"I am really disappointed," OKC Mayor Mick Cornett said. He came out in favor of the bill with Gov. Fallin. "Big tobacco wins again," Cornett said since this bill continues to not advance to the floor it may be time to look at other ways to reduce Oklahoma's smoking rate of 48th in the nation. "I think it's time to take a step back and see if there is not a better way to approach this," Mayor Cornett said.
Posted: Monday, February 18 2013, 09:54 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Friends remember `The Wall' after Okla. tornado
May 24, 2013 16:47 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Friends and teammates of Kyle Davis attended the boy's funeral wearing soccer jerseys bearing the number "16."
A funeral was held Friday for the 8-year-old, known by his soccer teammates "The Wall." His teammates wore their own jerseys, and adults and others in the crowd wore shirts reading "K. Davis 16."
Soccer coach Landon House said Kyle inspired him to remain in coaching, telling him during an especially cold practice last fall that he really loved the game. House said the child had a positive attitude toward life, soccer and his teammates.
Kyle was among seven children killed when the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore collapsed when hit by an EF5 tornado Monday.
Monday's storm killed 24 people, including 10 children. Another twister Sunday killed two men at Shawnee.
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