The latest from Gov. Rick Perry’s preferred polling firm, Baselice & Associates, shows that 70 percent of Texans support a ban on indoor smoking, including in restaraunts and bars.
The sentiment appears to cut across party lines. The ban was supported by 67 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Independents, and 74 percent of Democrats. Of those that identify with the Tea Party, 54 percent favored the idea. The poll also found that 63 percent of Texas voters are more likely to vote for a state legislator who supports such a law.
Last session, smoke-free legislation failed to get enough traction to get through the process. The push for a different outcome this time around has already begun. State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and state Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, have both filed bills to ban smoking in public indoor spaces.
The measures have the support of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. “Now is the time to make smoke-free workplaces a reality,” he said in a statement.
Until proven otherwise, my opinion is that anything other than the budget, redistricting, and Governor Perry’s wingnut wish list should be considered questionable for passage. Having said that, Dewhurst wouldn’t bother making a statement in favor if he wasn’t on board, and I don’t think Perry’s pollster would get involved if the Governor was going to be an obstacle, so this has a few important ducks lined up. With so many cities passing similar bans – San Antonio being the last domino to fall – it makes sense that the state would step in to fill the gaps. There is some organized opposition, but if the restaurant and hospitality crowd is in favor, I don’t think that will matter much. The real enemies are the calendar and the higher priorities that have been defined. Hair Balls and Postcards have more.