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St. Charles County Executive Vetoes Bill Calling for Vote on Smoking Ban

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Ehlmann argues that smoking ban cannot play favorites.
Steve Ehlmann, the executive of St. Charles County, today announced that he's vetoed a bill that would place a countywide smoking ban on the ballot in November 2012.

In a press release today, Ehlmann took objection to provisions in the bill passed last month that would allow Ameristar Casino and certain cigar bars in the county to continue to allow smoking under the ban. (St. Louis County and St. Louis have similar exceptions for casinos under their smoking bans.)

Said Ehlmann in his statement: "...I believe that when a regulation is passed to improve public health, exceptions to that regulation would be totally irrational. If the purpose of the smoking ban is to protect the health of employees, there is no rational reason to exclude casino floor workers. If tobacco smoke is harmful, there is no reason to exempt cigar bars, while regulating bars that allow cigarette smoking."

The county council, which approved the bill by a 4-2 vote, could override Ehlmann's veto if it secures a fifth vote in favor of the ban.

H/T: St. Charles Patch

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6 comments
Milwaukee Iron
Milwaukee Iron

Ameristar Casino employs over 1600 people. A good portion of these jobs could be lost if this ban passes. These are the very employees Ehlmann claims he wants to protect. If this were to pass, a lot of people would lose their jobs, and would have to go work at another casino where smoking is still allowed on the floor. So, his logic on this is completely self defeating! Another question I have to ask is why, when unemployment is already so high, would any politician pass any kind of legislation that could cause anybody to lose their job? Why would Ehlmann want to put the casino that dumps millions of dollars into the St. Charles county treasury at a competitive disadvantage like this? Makes me wonder whats in it for him. Why would he want to give up all the tax revenue generated from the casino, and the revenue from dollars spent by casino patrons at other businesses near the casino. Is it possible this "veto" has already been bought and paid for by one of the competitors across the river?  

Michael J. McFadden
Michael J. McFadden

Ehlmann did the right thing. Any ban should be universal, hitting the casinos just like the small bars. But do the citizens in his constituency really want to share in the suffering they'd vote upon those small business owners? After all, with a total ban they'd not only end up paying increased taxes to cover the losses produced by bar closings and layoffs, but also have to make up tens of millions of taxes lost from the casino ban. ' Yes, Antismokers will claim there won't be losses, but they're lying and they know it. Every state that's banned casino smoking has seen sudden and drastic losses of casino revenue sometimes reaching into the 100 million dollar area annually. If people really feel this is important enough to pay the extra taxes to cover those losses, at least they're being fair. Small comfort though to those folks whose lives and livelihoods are totally destroyed as their small businesses collapse.' If anyone doubts that the Antismokers are lying, ask them to do one simple thing: write into the proposed law or vote a stipulation requiring a legal contract binding them, personally and for the organizations they represent, to cover the losses that they say won't be happening after a ban. After all, if they ARE telling the truth they should have no hesitation: it would certainly help in getting the ban passed, right?Of course if they're lying and they KNOW they're lying they'll run away faster than a little girl from a pack of tarantulas.  ' My bet? They'll run.Michael J. McFadden, Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

snowbird
snowbird

An alternative to smoking bans

If the public was honestly and truthfully informed about the effects of second-hand smoke, there would be fewer no-smoking laws in this country.A little smoke from a handful of crushed leaves and some paper that is mixed with the air of a decently ventilated venue is going to harm or kill you?There has never been a single study showing that exposure to the low levels of smoke found in bars and restaurants with decent modern ventilation and filtration systems kills or harms anyone.As to the annoyance of smoking, a compromise between smokers and non-smokers can be reached, through setting a quality standard and the use of modern ventilation technology.Air ventilation can easily create a comfortable environment that removes not just passive smoke, but also and especially the potentially serious contaminants that are independent from smoking.Thomas LapradeThunder Bay, Ont.Canada

 

mntvernon
mntvernon

Surprising the county exec opposed the RINO Cronin. I suppose the next move will be for the ACS to hire some Michigan state petition circulater's and schedule a vote on April where they can turn out the most of their 'pod' people. 

JP
JP

"The county council, which approved the bill by a 4-2 vote, could override Ehlmann's veto if it secures a fifth vote in favor of the ban."

Sounds like the Casino better get cracking with their bribes.

Michael McFadden
Michael McFadden

Milwaukee, exactly the same arguments could be made, except even more strongly, for workers at small bar/restaurants who lose their jobs when smoking bans pass. For many of those people it is not just their jobs, but the livelihoods of their entire families that they have built up over decades.  There are simply NO good studies showing that there is any significant and rational level of risk from being exposed to the levels of smoke that would be common today in any decently ventilated bar/restaurant/casino/workplace.  If the taxpayers want to vote in a ban that will ultimately cost them tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars then that is their right.... but it needs to be a fair ban across the board and those taxpayers need to be fairly apprised of what it will cost them.   You'll note my unanswered "Challenge" above: the people who push these bans are *NEVER* willing to put their own pocketbooks behind their claims: Ask yourselves why.  - MJM

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