Please join us at the State Capitol, room 123 if your available. We expect the Finance Committee will strip the bill of all amendments (just like all other amendments that have been added) and send a total smoking ban to the floor for a vote.
No public testimony is accepted at this committee meeting. The DFL leadership has made it clear to all senators this must be a “clean” bill. A clean bill means no amendments to exempt any entity except the Indian Casino’s, religious ceremony’s or scientific studies.
This bill has been before some committees in the senate. Unfortunately, in most cases we have not been allowed to present our case for bar/restaurant exemptions or to challenge many of the claims the anti smoking advocates continue to use to justify a strict smoking ban. We have provided hundreds of studies, including the Surgeon General, showing there is no harm from SHS in your local bar. We have debunked the health care costs. We have shown the damage to businesses, jobs, charitable gambling and revenues to cities and counties in MN and across the US, who have already enacted local smoking bans. We have talked about property rights and the use of a legal product by adults. We have provided all polls done by impartial sources showing between 56-63% support allowing smoking in bars. Sometimes all of that in under one minute.
Sadly, many of the senators have not yet heard our side speak to the issue because they are not on the committees we have been in front of. They have only been exposed to the exaggerated, flawed and surely one sided data of the well paid lobbyists for the anti smoking advocates. Yet, the senate will convene at noon and we expect a floor vote on the smoking ban at that time.
Below are the senators we would like you to call. It is too late for emails. Call anytime, they have message machines and few will actually call you back or even take your call. Send this list to everyone you can think of who will help!
Finance Committee: will vote Sat. AM at 8:30, all phone numbers are 651.296.
Don Betzold, Fridley: 2556
James Metzin, S. St. Paul: 4370
Steve Murphy, Red Wing: 4264
LeRoy A Stumpf, Plummer: 8660
Other Senators who need to hear from you:
Steve Dille: 4131
Dennis Frederickson: 8138
Gary Kubly: 5094
Rick Olseen: 5419
Julie Rosen: 5713
Sandy Rummel: 1253
Kathy Salzman: 4166
Chuck Wiger: 6820
Rod Skoe: 4196
We are in the same boat in the House and a much longer list will be coming out in the next day or two for the house reps to contact. If you have time start working on the House Finance Committee, Chair Lyndon Carlson and his committee would like to hear from us all. That meeting is Monday at 8:30 AM (to reconvene at 6:30 PM) in room 200 of the State Office Building if more time is needed.
Thanks everyone, we appreciate your help.