The author of an Assembly version of a statewide smoking ban thinks the proposal still has a chance to pass this session.
A legislative committee on Tuesday approved an Assembly version of the bill. State Representative Steve Wieckert (R-Appleton) thinks the chances are good it will be taken up, since both the Senate and Assembly each have versions awaiting floor action right now.
The Assembly ban requires smoke-free workplaces by January of 2009, but opponents say bars and taverns need more time to adjust. Wieckert says he's open to some compromise, but he's rejecting a call to exempt bars and taverns until 2011. He says it should not take them that much time to adjust to the changes.
The Appleton Republican says the majority of Wisconsinites want the ban, but a vocal minority is causing delays. He blames efforts by the Tavern League for preventing passage of the measure.
There are doubts the bill will be scheduled for action on the Assembly floor, which could result in a pulling motion to force a vote on the issue. If that happens, Wieckert is worried support for the bill will vanish because many lawmakers will reject such an effort on principle. He says it prevents Democracy from happening.
The current legislative session is scheduled to end next week.