It's not perfect, but House Bill 1965 was passed by the Illinois General Assembly this week, on a vote of 62-52, and is now off to the Senate. The bill would allow for smoking again in Illinois casinos, with the caveat that it would only be in effect if adjoining states also did not ban smoking.
It will be carried by Senator Martin Sandoval, and yesterday, Senate Majority Leader James Clayborne, Jr. signed on as a patron of the legislation.
House Bill 1310 sponsored by Representative Anthony DeLuca, D-Cook County , and Representative Randy Ramey, R-DuPage County , remains alive, and deserves support.
This legislation would allow for the issuing of a ‘smoking license' if certain criteria are met, such as: employee acknowledgment, establishment already holds a valid liquor license, and notable public signage. We commend Representatives DeLuca and Ramey for their leadership on this issue.
Illinois House of Representatives
Representative Harold Richie, D-Bogalusa, has introduced a slate of tobacco tax increases, including a 10% increase in the tax on cigars. In the form of House Bill 63, Representative Richie is joined by ten members of the House and two members of the Senate. In this economic time, no tax increase is acceptable.
CRA will join the Louisiana Independent Tobacconist's Association, International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association and other industry allies in working for defeat of this legislation.
We fully anticipate a statewide smoking ban bill to be filed in Louisiana , as well. Call your member of the Louisiana legislature – Say NO CIGAR TAXES – NO STATEWIDE SMOKING BAN!
Call the Louisiana House Ways & Means Committee to Voice your Opposition to ANY NEW CIGAR TAXES.
Louisiana House of Representatives
The very size of the California cigar market, number of premium retail tobacconist, and the patrons they serve demands that SB 575 be defeated in the California legislature. As we have noted, it would close all existing exemptions to the statewide slate of smoking restrictions, but of specific concern is the exemption for premium cigar shops. Please Sign the CRA petition. Send a message to the Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee.
Also in California, we are monitoring a serious effort to raise state tobacco taxes that could result in a 70% + tax on cigars. It's a moving target at the moment, but there will be more to report next week.
California Assembly and Senate (search by zip code)
The effort to raise the tax on cigars in Connecticut needs to be defeated. Governor Dannel Malloy's effort to raise $1.5 billion in new taxes on everything from yoga sessions and car washes - to cigars, will bring new burdens on the cigar enthusiasts of Connecticut, and apparently all taxpayers in the state. Contact your member of the legislature. Send them a message – No New Cigar Taxes in Connecticut!
The effort to implement a statewide smoking ban in Indiana needs to be defeated for the year. The House has adopted a version, and the amendment process has (appropriately) confused the intent of the legislation. The Senate needs to defeat the bill. Now. If you live in Indiana, contact your member of the Senate, and tell them – No Statewide Smoking Ban in Indiana!
Indiana House of Representatives
South Carolina's House and Senate also need to quickly defeat the proposed three versions of a new statewide smoking ban, and adjourn. Contact your member of the House and Senate and tell them – No Statewide Smoking Ban in South Carolina!
South Carolina House of Representatives
South Carolina Senate
The Texas legislature keeps flirting with a statewide smoking ban, and negotiations have been taking place for weeks. It needs to be defeated, outright, and go away for the year. Contact your member of the Texas legislature and tell them – No Statewide Smoking Ban in Texas!
Texas House of Representatives
The efforts to implement a statewide smoking ban AND raise the OTP tax on cigars in The Bluegrass State remain alive. The legislature will adjourn soon, and no one needs any “11th hour maneuvers” to sneak in a smoking ban, or this tax increase. Contact your member of the Kentucky legislature. Send them a message – “No New Cigar Taxes, or Telling Me Where I Can Smoke 'em!”
Kentucky House of Representatives
We previously alerted our vast Florida membership to the legislation introduced by Naples Representative Kathleen Passidomo (HB 211). Now, new Florida state Senator Alan Hayes, R-Umatilla, has introduced a companion bill in the form of SB 1070. This would allow local governments to supercede state law with regard to banning outdoor smoking. This type of back door legislating of smoking regulations needs to stop. Please sign the current CRA on-line petition , and let your member of the Florida legislature know, KEEP FLORIDA LOCAL GOVERNMENTS OUT OF THE SMOKING BAN BUSINESS.
Florida House of Representatives