In front of a capacity crowd gathered Monday night to learn the fate of a proposed smoking ban, the South Bend Common Council decided to delay its vote for 60 days in hopes of gathering more public input on the matter.
The proposal was tabled by a 5-3 vote and will come back in front of the council on July 14th. The proposal would create sweeping changes in the city of approximately 100,000 residents, as it would ban smoking in all indoor places including bars and private clubs. It’s the second time in two years that a smoking ban proposal has come before the council, with a similar measure being voted down in 2012.
Prior to the bill’s first reading on April 28, Councilman Gavin Frelic acknowledged that getting passed would be an uphill battle despite having support from four of the nine council members. Health concerns versus the ability of businesses to create their own environments remains the crux of the argument.
The full text of the proposal can be found here, beginning on page 61. Should it be passed at the council’s July 14th meeting, it would go into effect 60 days later.