Lawmakers Light Up Inside Capitol Despite City Smoking Ban

9 years 2 months 2 days ago Friday, May 13 2011 May 13, 2011 Friday, May 13, 2011 4:16:00 PM CDT May 13, 2011 in News
By: Rico Bush
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - It's illegal to smoke in state buildings, but Missouri lawmakers can still light up inside their offices at the state Capitol.

For years, cities, counties, and other public places have started banning smoking in an attempt to prevent health problems linked to second hand smoke.

"I enjoy going out to dinner a lot more knowing I'm not going to reek someone else's cigarette smoke and food just taste better and people are healthier," Columbia resident Dana Bocke said.

In January 2011, Missouri's capital, Jefferson City, went smoke free. Residents voted to ban smoking in all bars, restaurants and in all state buildings. The only state building that had an exemption to the law was the capitol building itself.

"We should be a 100 percent smoke-free workplace like other state office buildings are," State Representative Jeanette Mott Oxford, D- St.Louis said.

While others stand at least 20 feet away to light up, politicians can take a smoke in their own offices.

"I think that to be fair, if a ban is going to put on smoking in public buildings, then a ban should be put on all public buildings," Rolla resident Clayton Price said.

Some lawmakers noted that offices in the Capitol building are private. Other lawmakers think differently and said offices are actually public, but said if lawmakers were to ban smoking in Capitol offices it would take away personal liberty and freedom. They also said it's too much government intrusion.

"The members' offices [are] open and that lawmaker can either answer for what he does in his office or not answer for what he does in his office. If he has constituents that come in there and they're offended by the smoke in that office, that's that lawmaker responsibility," State Representative Darrell Pollock, R-Lebanon said.

Oxford disagrees and said she thinks legislators are getting special privileges.

"I think it's an inappropriate signal for legislators to send that we do not have to follow rules that other states employees follow," Oxford said.

Smoking is banned in the chamber, hallways and lounge behind the House in the Capitol.

"I'm kind of a personal choice, even though I do not smoke, if a member chooses to smoke in his own office and it's not affecting other people, I really don't have a issue with that," Pollock said.

Some members and residents said smoking is a personal choice, but the choice to smoke in a public building should be banned.

"I think that in general lawmakers should live by the rules that they set down for the people they govern," Price said.

According to Missouri's no state smoking policy, lawmakers seem to violate this piece of legislation. "Smoking is prohibited inside all buildings exclusively occupied by the state of Missouri regardless of whether the building is owned or leased by the state."

"They're setting a standard for everyone else in other state buildings and setting a different standard for themselves," Price said.

According to No Smoke.org, Missouri is one of twelve states that still allows smoking in its Capitol building.

 

More News

Grid
List
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You... More >>
46 minutes ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 11:11:00 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A U.S. judge has halted the execution of a federal death row inmate whose lawyers... More >>
55 minutes ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 11:02:26 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A man died from multiple gunshot wounds early Wednesday morning in Jeff City. The Jefferson City... More >>
57 minutes ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 11:00:00 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart has become the latest major retailer to require customers to wear face coverings at all... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 10:49:55 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
(Missourian) - Schnucks plans to build a grocery store including a CVS pharmacy at the southwest corner of Clark... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 9:14:30 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A Kansas man who raped and killed a 16-year-old girl and fatally beat an 80-year-old... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 11:00:04 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Schools announced the re-entry plan for the school year on its website Wednesday morning. ... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 10:42:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Governor Parson signed House Bill 1330 which granted the Heartland Port Authority 116 acres of state owned land.... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 10:00:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Commission is receiving threats after changing ambulance providers and purchasing ambulances from a... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 8:48:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
OSAGE BEACH - The Osage Beach Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-2 for the expansion of the local bar and... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 7:26:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA (Missourian) - Planned Parenthood and Spectrum Health Care in Columbia have joined a network that provides free or... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 7:22:21 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
O'FALLON (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said President Donald Trump is focused on and concerned about the possibility that... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 7:13:06 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Move-in day for many students is only a couple weeks away and some still haven't signed a lease... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 7:03:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- A Covid-19 vaccine developed by the biotechnology company Moderna in partnership with the National Institutes of Health has... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 6:59:12 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The same day that Missouri broke a record for new COVID-19 cases , Governor Parson said the... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 6:49:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
MEXICO - SSM Health, a catholic non-profit that owns St. Mary's Hospital in Mexico has signed a letter of intent... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 6:21:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was being treated for a possible infection and was expected to stay... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 6:03:37 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The Washington D.C. NFL football team announced on Monday it will retire the teams name and logo. Washington... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 4:44:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
12pm 82°
1pm 83°
2pm 82°
3pm 80°