Friday, February 29, 2008

Connecticut Lawmakers Propose Smoking Ban On Reservation Casinos

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A state lawmaker who said she was approached by representatives from the United Auto Workers is sponsoring legislation to ban smoking at the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos.

State Sen. Mary Ann Handley, D-Manchester, co-chairwoman of the legislature's public health committee, said she saw a chance to respond to concerns about secondhand smoke by making a smoking ban a condition of the liquor licenses issued to the two casinos.

The tribe's sovereignty, in part, kept them from being included in a 2003 state law that banned smoking at Connecticut restaurants and bars.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal told the Hartford Courant that a smoking ban could be tied up for years in costly litigation unless a deal was reached with the Tribes. In a press conference today Blumenthal told the gathering, "This is historic in its scope, and you're going to make history at the casinos."

Blumenthal said, "As sure as I am standing here, the casinos will be smoke-free."