Doyle signs smoking ban measureGov. Jim Doyle signed a smoking ban Monday, making bars, restaurants and other workplaces smoke-free starting next summer.
By: By Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Superior Telegram
MADISON -- Gov. Jim Doyle signed a smoking ban Monday, making bars, restaurants and other workplaces smoke-free starting next summer.
"It's time for every person in Wisconsin to breathe freely at restaurants, taverns, and workplaces across the state," Doyle said in a statement. "A smoke-free Wisconsin will save money in health care costs, improve public health and save lives."
Doyle signed the bill at Cempazuchi, 1205 E. Brady St., Milwaukee. He's also planning signing ceremonies later Monday at Titletown Brewing Co. in Green Bay and the state Capitol in Madison.
A ban has been a top priority of Doyle's, but lawmakers were unable to reach a deal in the last two-year legislative session. The Democrat-controlled Legislature passed a compromise last week that bans smoking in virtually all workplaces but delays the start date until July 5, 2010 -- later than Doyle and other supporters wanted.
Indian-run casinos are exempt from the ban because lawmakers do not have the power to fully regulate them under federal law. Also exempt are existing cigar bars and specialty tobacco shops.
The bill includes forfeitures of $100 to $250 for violations, but only after a first-time warning is issued. It also bars local governments from regulating outdoor smoking areas.
Existing local smoking bans -- in Madison, Appleton, Eau Claire and 34 other communities -- will remain in place until the state ban takes effect.
The measure passed the Senate 25-8 and the Assembly 61-38 last week.
In the Senate, eight Republicans joined 17 Democrats in voting for the bill. Democrat Kathleen Vinehout of Alma and seven Republicans voted against it.
In the Assembly, 48 Democrats and 13 Republicans voted for the ban. Five Democrats, 32 Republicans and independent Jeff Wood of Bloomer voted against it.
-- Copyright (c) 2009, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services