Ok, here's how things look after the Nutter bills came to pass:
- The amended smoking ban passed by 10-7. However, Mayor Street objects to the changes that were made; in fact, giving "corner bars" the right to opt out for two years means that visitors to the city may have no idea which bars are smoke-free and which aren't, and he can't claim a transformative victory. However, it's not clear that if he vetoes the current version (of his own proposal), anything else would make it through. I note these quotes:
Street has long supported antismoking laws, but he is also a longtime rival of the bill's chief sponsor, Councilman Michael A. Nutter.I agree that a blanket ban would be preferable, on principle, for both workers and customers. But this gets the idea on the books, and gives a chance for some bars to benefit from going smoke-free, making the rest more willing to follow. I hope these guys can lay their rivalries aside and let some progress be made on the issue.
Nutter said he, not Street, had brought the bill to the brink of passage after two months on ice. "There's been no indication that another vote was forthcoming as a result of any of the lobbying that the mayor was doing," Nutter said.
- The pay-to-play bills passed 16-1, and will be put before voters this fall. The article summarizes the high-points of the legislation, but I suspect that most voters will have a sense of disbelief closer to that in this Signe cartoon . . .