Letter to the Editor, Arkansas City Traveler, Thursday, February 11, 2010

Last week our legislature's House Committee on Health and Human Services introduced a bill that purports to deal with the smoking problem in Kansas, and the governor has said he will veto it. Good for him.
The proposed measure allows smoking in bars and restaurants if they have a separate "smoking section" or if they ban anyone under eighteen. This feckless bill is a sheep in wolf's clothing, pretending to attack a bad situation but in fact making it worse by repealing effective local ordinances already on the books in some of the more enlightened Kansas jurisdictions.
Representative Brenda Landwehr of Wichita, who is attempting to foist this thing on us, should be ashamed. She wishes to perpetuate the status quo, in which workers are required to submit themselves to poison gas attack as a condition of their employment.
If legislators really do muster the chutzpah to present this monstrosity to the governor, I hope and trust he will slay it with his veto pen forthwith. It is long past time for the legislature to abandon foot-dragging and dithering on this issue and pass a law bringing relief to workers and customers in all public places.