Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Preparing for July 5th

Wisconsin will at long last go smoke-free this July. Last May the legislature voted for the entire state to go smoke-free. Recently the Department of Commerce initiating a rule-making process to clarify the smoke-free law. The rules can be seen here. A public hearing will take place on April 6th in Madison. See our analysis below:

The Department of Commerce rules clarify the definition of enclosed in the statewide smoke-free air law. The statutory definitions for "enclosed place" and "substantial wall" provided in Wisconsin Act 12 can be construed to allow smoking in many public buildings and places of employment. These definitions are inconsistent with the objectives of the smoke-free air law. Department of Commerce has redefined "enclosed indoor place" to clarify the definitions and to match the statute with the intention of legislators. The definition means that areas that are bounded by a ceiling and floor and at least 50% walls, windows, or doors are enclosed places and must be smoke-free. Screening materials does not count as a wall. 
Check back for more details on the rule-making process.

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