Even though Governor Doyle's proposed state budget includes a statewide smoking ban, lawmakers are planning to bring back legislation to also address the issue.
State Senate President Fred Risser (D-Madison) says they are currently circulating legislation at the Capitol that would enact a statewide ban on smoking in workplaces. The measure would apply to all public locations, including restaurants and taverns.
Risser says they remain hopeful that the statewide ban provision in the state budget will remain there. However, he wants to have legislation ready to go in case it is removed. Also, Risser says there are some who don't want to wait until the state budget is taken up this summer to address the issue.
Previous versions of a statewide smoking ban have failed to advance because they went into effect right away, rather than allowing a phase-in period for taverns. Risser says this version would also take effect within 60 days of being signed by the governor. The Madison Democrat says taverns know a statewide ban is inevitable and they don't need any more time to prepare for it to go into effect.