One week after failing to gain approval for a smoking bill, Sen. Frank Simpson (R-Ardmore) was able of push another out of committee.
Senate Bill 501 was approved by the Senate General Government Committee, which will allow cities and counties to ban smoking on government property. Passage of the bill is in response to a recent ruling by Attorney General Scott Pruitt. A handful of communities in Oklahoma have approved ordinances banning smoking in city parks but Pruitt said those communities were in violation of current state law limiting local government control on the use of tobacco.
"It boils down to an issue of local control," Simpson said. "The bill gives local communities the statutory authority to ban smoking on civic property. It will be a good thing. We know it is unsightly and will probably save money because you will not need people to go to the park and clean it up. It is a small victory and it gives local governments control."
Simpson also noted the efforts of Students Working Against Tobacco at the library in a story in The Ardmoreite.
Last week, a bill that would have given local government the authority to ban smoking in private businesses as well as government owned properties failed to make it out of committee.