We need a smoke-free ordinance in St. Louis that covers most workplaces and public spaces. I will sign the bill that makes that law when it gets to my desk.
Getting it to my desk is what is going on right now.
A board bill that would make most places smoke-free has been introduced at the Board of Aldermen, and will have public hearings as soon as its sponsor, Ald. Lyda Krewson, has a bill that will get 15 votes. She is not there yet, but she is pretty close.
Ald. Krewson has already gained votes by exempting outdoor areas and tobacco stores from her bill, and by making its application contingent on passage of a similar law in St. Louis county. I support a further compromise that would exempt the gaming floor of casinos.
I support these reasonable compromises — and I would consider others — because I believe that a very good bill that passes is better than a perfect bill that dies in committee. A bill that fails to advance is the same as a bill that is defeated — and the same as doing nothing. Virtually every local smoke-free ordinance in the country is based on a set of reasonable compromises that balance common sense, economics, public health, workers rights, and the continuation of a practice that is still legal.