Just after the dinner hour, the Assembly debated and passed a statewide smoking ban by just three votes.
It prohibits smoking in restaurants, no matter the size. But the catch: it does not apply to the bar area, so it would preempt Madison's smoking ban set to go into effect July 1.
Opponents of the bill addressed the Assembly, asking the that the state not override decisions of local communities.
But those in support of a statewide policy say it will level the playing field and give control to the local businesses.
The bill passes 48-45. Those in support breathed a collective heavy sigh of relief.
The bill now goes to the Senate for debate.
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