SMOKING BAN BILL WOULD AFFECT SOME CITY ORDINANCES
Legislation filed this session would enact a comprehensive, statewide smoking ban. The two bills, H.B. 5 by Crownover and S.B. 544 by Ellis, are summarized as follows:
H.B. 5 (Crownover) and S.B. 544 (Ellis) Statewide Smoking Ban: would: (1) prohibit smoking in most public places, in places of employment, in seating areas at outdoor events, or within fifteen feet of an enclosed area in which smoking is prohibited; (2) provide that the bills provisions preempt and supersede a local ordinance, rule, or regulation that prohibits smoking to a lesser degree; (3) provide that a local ordinance, rule, or regulation that prohibits or restricts smoking to a greater degree than the bill is not preempted; (4) require the Texas Department of State Health Services to annually request other government agencies to establish local operating procedures to comply with the bill, including urging all federal, state, county, and municipal governments as well as independent school districts to update existing smoking control regulations to be consistent with the current health findings regarding secondhand smoke; and (5) require any entity that grants business licenses, including a city, to provide notice of the state smoking law to each license applicant.
Cities that have enacted a local smoking ban ordinance will want to carefully consider the bills in light of the fact that some ordinances would be preempted by the bills if they were to pass in their present form.
To help plan TMLs approach to these bills, League staff would like to hear from any city that answers yes to both of the following questions:
- Has your city already adopted a smoking ban ordinance?
- Is your citys smoking ban ordinance less restrictive than H.B. 5 and S.B. 544 (such that it would be preempted by the bills)?
If you answered yes to both of these questions, please also answer the following question: Is your city concerned that your ordinance would be preempted by stricter statewide standards?
Please respond to Bennett Sandlin at TML: Bennett@tml.org.