Gov. Steve Beshear said in an interview broadcast Sunday that Kentucky will have a statewide smoking ban once Kentuckians get more comfortable with the idea, but he didn't say how comfortable. A poll last fall showed Kentucky adults favor a ban on smoking in most public places, including restaurants and bars, by more than 2 to 1.
Beshear supported a smoking ban in the recent legislative session, but it never came to a floor vote in the House and didn't get out of committee in the Senate. Asked on WKYT-TV's "Newsmakers" program if a ban would eventually pass, Beshear said, "I think it will pass at some point in the future. This is one of those issues that takes time. People have to get comfortable with this."
Beshear noted that when Lexington passed the state's first local ban, there were fears about its effect on business, but "Now everybody knows it doesn't put you out of business." He said a statewide ban "is just a matter of time, but it's just one of those thing you've got to build a comfortable feeling about."
On another topic, Beshear said he would not call a special session to pass anti-heroin legislation without an advance agreement among legislators, to keep the session short and limit costs. He said that if he did call a session, he would probably include other topics, such as state help for redevelopment of Rupp Arena and its surroundings. Both proposals failed in the recent session.