Monday, May 6, 2013

UIS considering smoking ban; bill may require it

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch wants the campus community to know the reality they face if state lawmakers pass legislation that bans people from smoking outdoors on all state-supported campuses.

Koch sent a letter to students, faculty and staff Thursday informing them of a task force being formed in coming months to look into the issue. The notice came one day after a ban bill passed out of the Senate with the minimum 30 votes needed. It now heads to the House.

But will UIS ban smoking outdoors even if lawmakers vote down a state mandate? “I don’t know if there’s that commitment yet,” UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp said Friday. “We just want to make sure our community is aware that this (legislation) could move quicker than they think … It needs to be on their radars, that this could very well be a reality anyway for any campus across-the-board.”

If Senate Bill 2202 is signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn, an outdoor smoking ban on campuses would be in full force by July 2014.

The story was featured by The State Journal-Register on May 5, 2013.

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