Second round of smoking ban debate likely Tuesday in the Senate

TOPEKA – There is a joke around the statehouse that nothing ever dies under the dome.

That seems to be true for efforts to pass a statewide smoking ban which could be debated for a second time in the Senate on Tuesday.

A few weeks ago the issue seemed finished after Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, who chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee, decided not to vote on the original bill after several days of hearings.

Following the typical progression of a bill, the matter was dead.

But there are ways around almost any obstacle – such as inserting the smoking ban into House Bill 2221. Originally, the measure dealt with child care.

Now the measure would bar smoking in most public places.

By putting the language in to a measure that has already passed the House, Senators are able to bypass the committees.

If it does go to the House floor, the measure is likely to be sent to a negotiating committee were six lawmakers – three from each chamber – will work out a compromise.