2017-01-12: House votes down smoke-free members’ offices amendment


Smoke-Me Missouri State Capitol

I watched the online video of the House debate on Thursday morning, January 12th, 2017, of an amendment to the Rules to make the “private” offices of House members smoke-free.  Amendment .04H was proposed by the  Minority Whip, Rep. Kip Kendrick (D). It was opposed by the Majority Floor Leader, Rep. Mike Cierpiot (R), and then defeated on a voice vote.

As noted on previous occasions, it’s highly regrettable that this has moved from being a health and welfare issue, ensuring access to the State Capitol for those with breathing disabilities, to evidently becoming a partisan issue.  Of note, however, is this statement by Rep. Cierpiot during his opposing argument:

I believe the spirit of the Amendment is reasonable and is something we might decide to do. But the proper way to do it, in my opinion, is caucus position.

A live video of the proceedings is posted online at the live link below. The 4 minute debate on Rep. Kendrick’s amendment begins at t=16:33 min. into the video recording. A transcript of the debate I prepared is appended below.


Transcript re. amendment .04H to HR8 determining the House Rules

Following the introduction of HR8 governing the House Rules for this session, the first speaker addressed the issue of smoking. This followed the Speaker asking “Discussion?” at t=16:30 min followed by “Gentleman from Boone … may rise.”

Rep. Kip Kendrick at t=16:33: “To offer an amendment.”

“Proceed gentleman.”


Rep. Kip Kendrick (D) Minority Whip

Rep. Kendrick at t=16:40: “To offer an amendment .04H. And this amendment, what it does is add some continuity, based on the current law in the state of Missouri regarding no smoking in state government buildings. And it includes the House and members’ offices, to basically ban smoking in the building.

I’m not standing up today to throw bombs or make it a partisan issue – I don’t believe it’s a partisan issue. And I have to believe that over 90% of the people in this body believe that this is an acceptable rule change: to ban smoking in the State Capitol.

And for those of you who don’t agree I would have to assume that you would agree to repeal of a smoking ban in all state buildings because there really is no good reason why we ban smoking in every state building but then exempt ourselves, exempt the State Capitol. There’s no good reason at all. When we talk about this is the People’s House and this is the People’s Building, it is.

I occupy Room 106-B, and I occupy – I don’t own – that office at all. So for me to say that I’m exempting myself from the existing law to say that I can smoke in my office as a privilege contradicts what we’re here for, why are we here. We’re here as public servants. We’re not any better than anyone out there definitely. We’re no better than any other state employee, and again we currently ban smoking in all state government buildings with one exemption, and that’s the State Capitol, and that’s our offices.

So again I believe that most everyone in here believes this is an acceptable rule change. And with that I’ll renew my rule change and entertain any questions. And I’d like to move for the adoption of the amendment.”

At t=19:16: “The gentleman from Boone has asked for the adoption of House Amendment 1. Discussion?”


Rep. Mike Cierpiot (R) Majority Floor Leader

At t=19:22: “Gentleman from Jackson.”

Rep. Mike Cierpiot at t=19:23: “Just to quickly speak on the Amendment.

First, I believe the spirit of the Amendment is reasonable and is something we might decide to do. But the proper way to do it, in my opinion, is caucus position.

The enforcement of the rules would be difficult and I think it opens issues that we haven’t really thought through. And I know the minority caucus has done it before and it’s going to consider that soon, and in my opinion that’s the way to do it.

I encourage the majority to vote against this amendment.

t=19:54:  “Discussion? Seeing none, the gentleman from Boone you’re recognized to close.”

t=19:59: “Again, Mr. Speaker, I believe that this is a simple rule change to make, one that we can all agree upon, and with that I renew my motion.”

t=20:13: “The gentleman from Boone has renewed his motion for the adoption of House Amendment 1. All those in favor signify by saying “Aye.” Opposed “No.”

The Noes clearly have it. You’ve failed to adopt House Amendment 1. t=20:26 min.

The following information on the two speakers is available from the Mo House Members directory:


Rep. Kendrick

Rep. Kip Kendrick (D) District 045
Minority Whip
MO House of Representatives
201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 106-B
Jefferson City MO 65101
Legislative Assistant: Donna Scheulen
Phone: 573-751-4189
E-Mail: Kip.Kendrick@house.mo.gov

The above district is centered on Columbia, MO.


Rep. Cierpiot

Rep. Mike Cierpiot (R) District 030
Majority Floor Leader
MO House of Representatives
201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 302-A
Jefferson City MO 65101
Legislative Assistant: Stephanie Willis
Phone: 573-751-0907
E-Mail: <Mike.Cierpiot@house.mo.gov>

The above district is southeast of Kansas City, MO.

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