A petition drive to repeal a recently enacted smoking ban in St. Joseph, Mo. has fallen short of the required signatures, meaning that the ban will stay in place.
Bar owner Steve Peterman and his assistants only managed to collect 1,759 of the 2,568 verifiable signatures needed to force further action on the ban, according to the St. Joseph Post. Peterman can request an additional ten days to gather signatures if he responds to a letter sent by the county clerk’s office that notified him of the shortcoming, though he only has 48 hours to do so once he receives the letter and it must be in writing.
The ordinance was approved on an April 2014 ballot with nearly 53% of the voters in favor of it. It went into effect that June after a judge rejected an injunction as part of a civil suit brought by Peterman over the legality of an exemption granted to a casino. In effect, all indoor smoking is banned with the exception of the gambling floor of the St. Jo Frontier Casino, in 10 percent of hotel rooms and in private clubs, but only when employees are not present. Fines for violators are $100 for the first instance, $200 for the second violation and up to $500 per subsequent violation within a one-year term.
St. Joseph is located in northwest Missouri and has a population just under 80,000.