Key supporters of a statewide smoking ban disagree that a potential loophole exists.
The question was raised after Governor Jim Doyle signed legislation this week that clarifies the rules for outdoor smoking areas in bars and restaurants. Under the bill, open-air smoking rooms are allowed as long as 25-percent of the walls are covered with open windows.
The State Tavern League has questioned whether that could open the way for bars to continue allowing customers to smoke inside. However, Governor Doyle says that’s not the case. He says the bill simply allows for outdoor buildings with open walls, which was always intended under the statewide smoking ban.
AUDIO: Governor Jim Doyle (:11)
The author of the original legislation largely agrees with the Governor. State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) says the bill actually makes it much clearer what is allowed.
AUDIO: Sen. Fred Risser (:15)
The statewide smoking ban is set to take effect on July 5th.