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KC Council Committee Hears Reactions to Proposed Smoking Ban

By Laura Spencer

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Kansas City Council's Public Safety and Neighborhoods Committee this week heard testimony from more than 40 area residents, including small business owners, over the proposed smoking ban on bars and restaurants filed as a petition initiative in December.

Councilman Ed Ford presented substitute language for the ordinance and it was approved by the committee to include an exemption for tobacco shops but not for casino floors and the concourse at the Truman Sports Complex.

"In fact, I can't understand if this is about public safety, why the committee of petitioners would leave out two of the biggest offenders in the city," Ford said.

Former Councilman Jim Rowland is a member of the committee of petitioners. Rowland has argued that the ban should be extended to Kansas City casino floors only when it was also prohibited in other metro area casinos.

This committee of petitioners has 10 days to respond to the amendments to the smoking ban proposal. If changes are not approved, it will go before voters as it was originally submitted. The smoking ban proposal is expected to go before a public vote in the next available election, which would be in April.

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