Jun 3, 2008
Nebraska Supreme Court says exceptions to smoking bar are unconstitutional
In a decision that may have repercussions for Michigan, the Nebraska Supreme Court recently ruled exceptions – or “carve outs” – to Omaha’s newly enacted smoking ban are unconstitutional.
Bars that did not served food, a racetrack and licensed Keno establishments were exempt from the October 2006 ban until 2011, but the ruling made that moot. The common sense ruling said "Nothing in the ordinance's stated purpose would explain why employees of the exempted facilities or members of the public who wish to patronize those establishments are not entitled to breathe smoke-free air or to have their health and welfare protected.”
Late last month the Michigan House approved a smoking ban bill in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants, with the exception of non-Native American casinos, bingo-halls and so-called “cigar bars.” A few weeks earlier the Senate had approved version, House Bill 4163, that had no carve out outs.
The House sent their substitute bill, HB 5074, to the Senate, and it is currently awaiting action in the Senate, and it is unclear if they will even allow a second vote.