Smoking ban proponents have officially introduced an expanded smoking ban ordinance, but it is unlikely Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will sign it.
The proposal is similar to the one offered by outgoing City-County Council President Ryan Vaughn, in the fact that it expands the current smoking ban to include all bars and taverns, however there are exceptions for cigar bars (provided 20% of their gross sales comes from tobacco), hookah bars and retail tobacco shops. The major change is private clubs. In the Vaughn proposal, private clubs were exempt but members had to vote whether they would stay smoking, in the new version, a private club would have to go non-smoking if it allowed in people under 18.
I interviewed Ballard on this last week for Indy Politics. You can listen to his comments here. In a nutshell, he seemed very cool to the idea of that provision, saying a “private club is a private club.” My read is that the measure won’t pass with that provision in it. If proponents would take that out, they would likely get 90% of what they want.
Of course to be fair, I am told there are some members of the Council who want to introduce a total ban with no exemptions, which will never happen, and to even throw that thought out there tells me they must be smoking something other than cigarettes.
The new Council meets Monday night at 7 p.m. Democrats will have a 16-13 majority.