ST. CHARLES, MO (KPLR) - Voters in St. Charles County will get the chance to decide in November whether there should be a county wide smoking ban. But there won`t be just one question on the ballot.
The measure to put the issue on the ballot was approved by the St. Charles County Council on Monday night by a vote of four to two.
The proposal will ask voters two questions. The first will be whether voters want to ban smoking in enclosed public places and enclosed workplaces.
The second question will be if voters approve the ban, do they want exemptions for twenty percent of hotel rooms, private clubs and enclosed places where everyone must be over 21.
Those exemptions include the Ameristar Casino and many bars. If approved by the voters, the smoking ban would amend the St. Charles county charter and would begin on July first of next year.
"While the county government does have the power to impose a ban on its own, I was never had a proponent of that would never sponsor any legislation like that because on very controversial issues like this I think it’s important,” said St. Charles County council member Joe Cronin. “The voters get the opportunity to vote on it."
"In reality the smoking ban will pass cause 80 percent of the people don't smoke and then the exemptions will not pass and so there won't be smoking allowed in VFW halls and private clubs and taverns and stuff like that,” said St. Charles County council member Joe Brazil. “I think it’s a pure invasion of property rights and people's rights.”
It would cover all areas of the county both incorporated and unincorporated. The smoking ban issue has a history in St. Charles County.
Several past efforts to put smoking ban measures on ballots have failed. It appears some of the details are different this time around.
We`ll see what the voters say.