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Archive for Saturday, January 12, 2008

Kansas City voters could see competing smoking ban proposals

January 12, 2008

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— Kansas City voters could have two different smoking bans to consider in the April election.

The Kansas City Council voted 8-3 Thursday night to put its own smoking prohibitions on the ballot. And a separate citizens-led petition proposal also appears headed for the April 8 ballot.

The council measure would prohibit smoking in all city restaurants but would allow it in taverns and on casinos' gaming floors.

The measure backed by the committee of petitioners would also allow smoking on casino gaming floors but would ban smoking from restaurants and bars, including bars in casinos.

If there are two ballot measures in April, voters could reject one but approve one. Voters could back both measures, but if both were to pass then the measure with the most votes would take effect. If both measures failed, then the status quo would continue.

However, the petition committee could opt to accept the council measure and thus not have its proposal placed on the ballot. But that seemed extremely unlikely Thursday night, according to a committee spokesman.

Also, the city attorney's office is researching whether the council has to act to put the petition on the ballot. If council action is required, then the council could delay the petitioners' election until summer. But that also seems unlikely because council members don't want the cost of a special June election.

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