Local News Politics

A panel of Indiana House and Senate lawmakers has begun work on a compromise statewide smoking ban.

Both chambers have passed smoking ban bills, but the Senate version contains more exemptions, including a loophole for bars and taverns.

Rep. Eric Turner, who authored the House measure, says he can’t support another Senate provision that would block local governments from passing stronger laws.

Governor Mitch Daniels says he’s prepared to sign whatever emerges from the legislature.

“I’ve become convinced over the years this is a good step for the state. I’d like to see as few exemptions as possible, but the legislature already knows that. I think the House bill is better than the Senate bill, but I know they’ll blend the two,” he said.

Negotiators are hoping to reach a compromise agreement by week’s end.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."