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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2006

Gov. Blagojevich signs law expanding ability to ban smoking in public places

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that gives Illinois counties and municipalities the ability to ban smoking in public places.  Senate Bill 2400, sponsored by Sen. John J. Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Rep. Karen A. Yarbrough (D-Broadview), amends the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act to allow non-home rule municipalities and counties to prohibit smoking. Smoking bans in counties would affect all unincorporated areas within the county.  Before, home rule units of local government and any municipality could regulate smoking in public places.
 
“This law puts the decision about whether to ban smoking in public places in the hands of local governments.  It gives people the ability to decide what’s best for their communities,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
 
SB 2400 expands the current law to allow communities to regulate smoking in all enclosed public places, such as restaurants, bars and bowling alleys.  Last August, Governor Blagojevich signed House Bill 672 - which gave Illinois municipalities the ability to adopt their own anti-smoking regulations.
 
“Giving counties the power to ban smoking in public places is another step forward in the fight against exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Sen. Cullerton. “Those who live in unincorporated areas should be able to decide for themselves whether a smoking ban makes sense, just as those who live in municipalities already can.”

This law goes into effect immediately.



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