Conference committee compromises on e-cigarette regulations
May 13, 2014 — 9:32pm
A revamped bill to limit the use of e-cigarettes — commonly known as “vaping” — bans their use in several, but not all public indoor spaces as part of a compromise between the House and Senate.
A conference committee hashed out the details of the ban, which is part of the Health and Human Services Omnibus bill. Earlier versions passed by wide margins in both bodies. However, while a stricter Senate version placed e-cigarettes under the Clean Indoor Air Act, which bans their use in all public places, a House version narrowed the ban to state buildings and public schools.
However, under a compromise by Sen. Melissa Wiklund, DFL-Bloomington, the language in the final version bans “vaping” in city and state government buildings, any buildings owned by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and the University of Minnesota, and buildings licensed by the commissioner of human serves or the commissioner of health. The amendment would allow cities or individual business to adopt their own bans, more stringent if they prefer. The proposed compromise will likely be debated later this week as the 2014 legislative session draws to a close.
Gov. Mark Dayton, speaking to a mostly Republican audience at the annual Minnesota Business Partnership dinner, repeated his familiar attack on the House GOP, blaming them for a legislative impasse on transportation.
The Senate DFL is paring back its ambitious proposal for paid family and medical leave. Sen. Katie Sieben, the legislation's sponsor, is presenting amendments to the Senate panel overseeing jobs which would strike a requirement that employers offer paid medical leave to workers who develop a serious health condition.
A measure that would treat electronic cigarettes the same as tobacco under state regulations cleared a key Senate panel Monday. The measure will now get a full Senate vote and, if passed, could clash with less stringent House language.