The Governor says he may be open to a compromise that exempts taverns from a proposed statewide smoking ban. Several lawmakers have said they'll only support the proposal if taverns are exempt. Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Governor Jim Doyle said he prefers a ban for all public places. He says you run the risk of creating islands and pockets of other laws when you allow for exemptions.
However, Doyle says the issue is open for discussion. The Governor says he knows he lives in a real world and he won't turn away from any deal that gives him 95 percent of what he wants in a statewide smoking ban.
Also facing criticism is Doyle's proposed $1.25 a pack tax increase for cigarettes. Republicans have blasted the plan and say they'll oppose it. Doyle believes it's still the best way to limit the amount of smokers in the state. The tax hike will be part of the Governor's budget proposal, which is due out next week.