I received the following news release from County Executive Charlie Dooley’s office at 5:00 pm, Friday, August 28, 2009. It confirmed information I had received earlier today from Mr. Darin Cline, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, St. Louis County Government, that Mr. Dooley had decided to sign the bill but he would have preferred a stronger piece of legislation.
Councilwoman Barbara Fraser, who led this effort, issued a press release later, appended below.
Missouri GASP has made very clear before St. Louis County Council during recent weeks that our current goal is legislation providing comprehensive protection so that no employee has to endure secondhand smoke as part of their job description.
However, we recognize that this legislation can provide a springboard for that goal. We can point to the fact that not only has a fairly comprehensive smoke-free air bill been approved by a majority of the county council, but it also received the support of the County Executive, which has never happened before.
This could be the key to getting really strong protection not only in St. Louis County but in the entire state of Missouri. It just needs leadership and a willingness to work together towards that goal.
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News from CHARLIE A. DOOLEY
Saint Louis County Executive
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 28, 2009
Contact: Mac Scott
DOOLEY SIGNS BILL FOR SMOKING BAN VOTE
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley gave his approval to the St. Louis County Council’s legislation calling for an election to decide on a smoking ban in St. Louis County. Circuit Judge John Ross subsequently ordered the measure to be placed on the November 3, 2009 ballot. The measure will be called Proposition N.
“I believe St. Louis County has a responsibility to lead by example and this measure puts us on a course to address this important public health issue, which, in the end, could help us get a more effective statewide smoking ban. In addition, I strongly believe St. Louis County voters deserve the opportunity to have their voices heard and to decide the fate of this indoor smoking ban,” Dooley said.
The proposed smoking ban legislation can be viewed on St. Louis County’s web page, www.stlouisco.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: St. Louis County Councilwoman
August 28, 2009
St. Louis County Executive Dooley Signs Smoking Ban Measure
Bipartisan measure will be on the November ballot
St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley signed a bill today that will let voters decide on November 3 to ban smoking in nearly all indoor public places. County Councilwoman Barbara Fraser (D-5th District) sponsored the bill. In addition to Fraser, voting in support were Colleen Wasinger (R-3rd District), Steve Stenger (D-6th District) and Greg Quinn (R-7th District).
“I am pleased that the County Executive has chosen to let the voters decide their position on this critical health issue,” said Fraser. “My simple objective has been to protect the health of county residents. I am proud of the bipartisan effort that was made to create an effective bill,” added Fraser. Councilman Stenger agreed with Fraser. “This bill was about doing the right thing at the right time for the citizens of this county,” said Stenger.
The bill, which the County Council passed by a vote of four to three Tuesday night, provides protections from secondhand smoke in nearly all public places in St. Louis County. The United States Surgeon General determined that second hand smoke is dangerous and harmful to human health. Lung cancer, heart disease, SIDS, and asthma among others have all been linked to exposure to second hand smoke.