After a judge’s ruling last Friday threw out Louisville’s smoking ban, local government officials seemed to make all the right moves. Mayor Jerry Abramson (who can’t decide if he supports a ban or not) immediately called for passing a new ban, minus a Churchill Downs exemption that created the legal loophole Judge Stephen Ryan cited for overturning the ordinance. Members of the Metro Council all seemed to be in agreement.
Most businesses, though there are exceptions, didn’t react to Friday’s news by putting out ash trays.
Then all hell broke loose.
Changes requested by the Health Department and the county attorney’s office may complicate the ban’s smooth path to passage. The Health Department wants to raise fines for those caught defying the ban, and the county attorney’s office wants to put more responsibility on the backs of building owners.
Those changes brought plenty of confusion into what should be a simple task — passing the original ban without the Churchill Downs exemption.
The law goes to the Health and Human Services Committee. Let’s hope that group does the right thing and drops the changes and brings forth the original wording. That’s the smoothest path to passage.