Friday, June 16, 2006

Back in town just in time!

The Philadelphia smoking ban, which failed last term and then appeared to have lost all momentum this spring (see, e.g., this or this), underwent a wondrous resurrection and passed City Council yesterday by a 9-6 vote. Two noteworthy features of the reports:
  1. Some local pubs can apply for an exemption (but only the tiny minority who serve almost no food), and all sidewalk cafes (outdoor tables, that is) are automatically exempted.

  2. The extra votes, once considered unfindable (with the loss of Cohen and Mariano) included onetime opponents DiCicco, Clarke, Kenney, and Reed Miller, brought on board mainly through the compromise that established the possibility of permanent exemptions. (Actually, the full list of yes and no votes (see below) is quite odd, bearing little relation to partisan affiliation or other usual factional allegiances.)
I think this is a great development, and suspect that bars and restaurants will be pleasantly surprised by the effects on their businesses. Can't wait to find out in January!!

Update: Left out a link to this Daily News opinion piece, which urges the Mayor to sign this measure (which he has made reasonably clear that he intends to do, although not right away) and applauds the bill's passage as better late than never.
  • For: Michael Nutter, Darrell Clarke, Frank DiCicco, Wilson Goode Jr., James Kenney, Donna Miller, Juan Ramos, Blondell Reynolds Brown, and Marian Tasco.

  • Against: Council President Anna Verna, Majority Leader Jannie Blackwell, Joan Krajewski, and the three Republicans Brian O'Neill, Jack Kelly and Frank Rizzo.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A great development" for twits who have no business being in a bar if they think there shouldn't be any smoke there.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Friedman said...

As an unofficial spokesman for the "twits" - I applaud this wonderful development. Thank goodness Philadelphia City Council had the courage to advance public health and worker protection in the City.

9:26 AM  

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