Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Smoking Ban Ordinance Headed To Ballard's Desk Again
By a vote of 20-9, the Indianapolis City-County Council sent a more comprehensive smoking ban for the second time to Mayor Greg Ballard's desk that will cover most bars but exclude private clubs, the downtown off-track betting parlor and cigar and hookah bars in operation as of January 1, 2012. Ballard vetoed a very similar version earlier this year that allowed smoking in private clubs only if children weren't allowed to enter. Ballard's spokesman only offered that "we're finally close," even though he is on record as saying that he would sign a measure just like the version passed by the council last night. His position since being mayor has been a moving target. He favored a comprehensive ban when he first ran for mayor, but then softened his position to insist on an exemption for private clubs because he says veterans should be allowed to smoke themselves to death in VFW and American Legion halls if they so desire. This blogger wonders what a certain ex-radio talk show host will do for a living if Ballard signs the smoking ban and he no longer has a source of income lobbying against its passage while reporting on the debate over it.