A bill that would create a broad ban on smoking in Kentucky’s public places has been declared dead by one of its main sponsors.
On Thursday, Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, told several media outlets that the chances of House Bill 173 moving through the House were so remote that it would take riots outside the Capitol, according to WAVE3.com, adding that political reasons were the main culprit for the bill’s demise. She mentioned that with Democrats looking to protect their 54-46 majority in the House, not enough were willing to get behind the controversial bill as they headed into reelection campaigns.
The bill had gained the support of Gov. Steve Beshear, but it was members of his administration that told Westrom that the bill didn’t appear to have enough support to pass. Beshear had been contacting representatives individually to ask for their support.
The bill passed its first House committee in early February, but supporters knew it would be an uphill battle to get it through the main floor and onto the state Senate. It was the fourth consecutive year that Westrom had brought the legislation to the Kentucky House of Representatives. Westrom indicated that she would bring the bill back in 2015, when she thinks she might be able to garner more votes.