February 11, 1997 in Idaho

Tobacco Industry Bill Passes House Panel

From Staff And Wire Reports

Last week, the House State Affairs Committee appeared on the verge of killing legislation changing tobacco enforcement laws.

Sponsors said the legislation was designed to protect minors from using tobacco. Opponents argued it did just the opposite, making cigarettes and other tobacco products a little more accessible. The session was adjourned before a final vote was taken.

On Monday, the committee voted 13-5 to send the bill to the full House.

Tobacco Institute lobbyist Bill Roden spent the weekend preparing a six-page response to objections.

He called his bill “good, reasonable legislation” with no opposition from prosecutors or law enforcement officers.

“Opposition to this legislation is not based on careful evaluation of the facts, but on a critique of the sponsor,” Roden said.

“More importantly, you may want to question whether the state of Idaho should be giving over $130,000 in state funds to the Cancer Society and other local groups to organize activities to harass legitimate retailers …” the letter said.

, DataTimes

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