Many thought this was the year. But Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, acknowledged on Saturday that a measure establishing a statewide smoking ban in Texas is dead.
Crownover blamed its failure on a “handful” of Senate conferees who refused to keep a smoking ban amendment on Senate Bill 1811, a sweeping fiscal matters bill. She said the amendment would have saved taxpayers $30 million in Medicaid spending over the next biennium.
The smoking ban language that had been added by the House was taken out by the Senate on Thursday. Crownover had hoped to get it back in, but clearly that didn’t happen.
“I am proud of the work we did this session. We passed this legislation in committee in both chambers and won a major victory on the House floor,” Crownover said. “Science, logic and reasoning are on our side now, and ten years from now the idea of smoking in a restaurant will be as bizarre an idea as smoking on an airplane is today.”
Crownover said by raw numbers, she had a majority of votes in both the House and Senate to pass the smoking ban. But because of Senate rules, which require a two-thirds vote to bring bills to the floor, “a unified minority” blocked her legislation.
Which suggests to me Rep. Crownover will face the same problem next time as well. Not that it will stop her, nor should it. Trail Blazers has more.