Freeze Warning issued September 24 at 8:47AM MDT expiring September 25 at 9:00AM MDT in effect for: Archuleta, Dolores, Eagle, Garfield, La Plata, Mesa, Moffat, Montezuma, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt, San Miguel
The state Senate gave initial backing to a statewide ban on smoking in public places Monday, but it exempted small neighborhood bars. The exemption covers bars that get less than 25 percent of their profits from food, but it wasn't clear how many would be affected. Opponents said the exemption won't work because it would cover many larger bars as well, and because other businesses could reorganize to take advantage of the exemption. The Senate also voted to allow smoking in casinos and at racetracks. Some Republicans criticized the bill because it has so many exclusions. Even Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver, said he would not vote for the bill in its current form. Grossman said the current version probably won't have the support of business and health groups that backed the original, but he said there is time to make changes before a final vote.