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Local control-of-smoking bill to get hearing in Oklahoma Legislature

The measure, after being bottled up by a Senate committee chairman this session, has been reassigned to another committee and is to get a hearing Monday.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: February 16, 2013

A bill that would let Oklahoma cities and towns craft their own anti-smoking laws will be heard next week after being stalled by a Senate committee chairman the first two weeks of this year's session.

Senate Bill 36, which would change state law and allow cities to pass their own smoke-free ordinances, has been reassigned to the Senate General Government Committee. Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, has placed the bill on his committee's agenda, which will be taken up at 10:30 a.m. Monday.

The bill had been sent to the Senate Health and Human Services committee. Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, the committee's chairman, said earlier this week he would not grant it a hearing. He refused to hold a hearing for a similar measure last year. He didn't ask for SB 36 to be reassigned.

“I would imagine that was done by the (Senate) pro tem or at the pro tem's direction,” Crain said. “It is within the pro tem's prerogative to do that, and I'm going to support the pro tem. We'll see what happens.”

Gov. Mary Fallin in her State of the State speech last week to lawmakers urged them to pass legislation restoring local control to cities and towns regarding tobacco use in public places.

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