April 9, 2006 - Posted at 2:17 p.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ Governor Huckabee is thrilled that the
Arkansas Legislature passed his ban on public smoking. He said
yesterday he wasn't expecting such a lopsided vote in the Senate,
where the measure passed by a 30-to-4 margin.
The law, which was signed by Huckabee yesterday, bans smoking in
most workplaces. When Huckabee told legislators he was calling a
special session to address education funding, he spent most of the
phone call lobbying for his smoking proposal.
The proposed ban led to some wrangling in the House. One
representative tacked on an amendment to exempt small hotels, and
another wanted to exempt police cars. One legislator even
introduced a protest measure that would have banned the sale,
transport and manufacture of tobacco throughout the state.
Huckabee's ban ultimately passed, with an exemption for smaller
hotels and motels.