A large turn out is expected for a Capitol hearing Thursday on a bill that bans smoking in public places statewide.

Smoke Free Wisconsin Executive Director Maureen Busalacchi says it's a basic fundamental health issue. She says it's critical that lawmakers protect all employees from second hand smoke, regardless of where they work.

However, Scott Stenger with the Tavern League of Wisconsin says the bill is bad news for its members. Stenger says over half the customers in most taverns smoke, so eliminating that could hurt the bottom line of many small business owners.

The Governor has said he supports a statewide bill and will veto any version that includes an exemption for taverns. Stenger says lawmakers shouldn't be swayed by the Governor when considering how to address the concerns of business owners. Governor Doyle has said he would consider a provision that phases in taverns to a statewide ban.

Busalacchi says tavern owners need to realize the majority of Wisconsinites support a statewide ban.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 1:02)

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