Don't know if you're aware of this, as it hasn't made the local news yet, but on Wednesday, State Rep. Myra Crownover, a Republican from Denton, filed House Bill 5 -- yet another attempt to create a statewide smoking ban similar to the ordinance passed by the Dallas City Council one month ago. The bill calls for "the elimination of smoking in all workplaces and public places; providing penalties." Crownover co-authored a similar bill in 2007, but it didn't get too far.
As we mentioned on Monday, there's been some suggestion that smoking bans are hazardous to bars' health. Appropriately, then, Crownover's spokesman, Kevin Cruser, offers the following reason for the bill at this time. --Robert Wilonsky
While [Dallas and Austin] are encouraging smoking bans, as long as someone can drive a few miles up the road to a different town, smoking in public establishments will continue to thrive, Cruser said, since the existing bans are on a municipal level only.
"In Dallas, there's a new town every two miles. Those are the businesses that suffer, because you can literally drive down the road and find a place that will let you smoke. This bill levels the playing field for everybody," he said.
Update: Greg Janda at KXAS-Channel 5 sends word that the NBC affiliate ran a piece on the bill last night. The video follows after the jump.
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