OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 419 (File 447, as amended by Senate “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMITTEE TO FACILITATE AN EXTENSION OF THE BAN ON SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES TO CASINOS.

SUMMARY:

This bill establishes a 10-member committee to facilitate an agreement that extends the state's smoking ban to casinos. The committee must review any legal or other factors that might impede the state's ability to ban smoking in casinos. After considering these, it must take appropriate actions to bring about a ban. By January 31, 2009, the chairpersons must certify in writing to the Public Health Committee whether or not the committee's efforts have resulted in an agreement that would facilitate implementation of a smoking ban in casinos.

If they report an agreement has been achieved, the certification must include its significant terms, including the date the ban is to begin. If they report no progress has been made, the bill bans, as of February 1, 2009, smoking in any establishment that sells liquor under a casino permit. These establishments include the gaming facilities and other facilities on the same premises, including hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, bingo halls, and convention centers.

If the chairpersons certify the parties have made substantial progress toward implementing a casino smoking ban, their certification must detail that progress and specify the date the committee anticipates the ban will begin. That date can be no later than May 1, 2009, after which, under the bill, no one can smoke in any establishment that sells liquor under a casino permit.

*Senate Amendment “A” establishes the May 1, 2009 smoking ban deadline if the parties are making substantial progress toward a smoking ban.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

COMMITTEE ON CASINO SMOKING

Membership

The committee consists of the six legislative leaders, the governor, the attorney general, and the public health and consumer protection commissioners. The members can appoint someone to serve in their stead; the governor and leaders' appointees can be legislators. All appointments must be made within 30 days after the bill takes effect. The appointing authority fills any vacancy.

The speaker and president pro tempore (or, presumably, their appointees) serve as the committee's chairpersons. They must schedule the first meeting within 60 days after the bill takes effect.

The Public Health Committee's administrative staff serves as the committee's staff.

BACKGROUND

Special Act

OLR does not analyze most special acts. Although if enacted this bill would be a special act, we are analyzing it because it potentially effects a smoking ban in casinos that would otherwise require a statutory change. The state's existing ban on smoking in public places excludes establishments holding a casino permit (CGS 19a-342).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

24

Nay

6

(03/17/2008)