Instead of passing a budget during the special session, legislators are busy trying to chip away at voter-approved initiatives.

On a voice vote in Friday night's ways and means committee (so the roll call isn't available), legislators added an amendment to the "roll your own cigarettes" bill. (The "roll your own" bill would fix a loophole in cigarette sales that allows smokers who buy loose tobacco to avoid paying cigarette taxes. The bipartisan bill would recoup about $12 million a year in revenue for the state.) The "roll your own" bill didn't make it out of committee, but not before legislators did approve an amendment.

The amendment, totally ignoring 2005's voter-approved indoor smoking ban, would allow the state to license cigar bars. Sponsored by Sen. Mark Schoesler (R-9, Ritzville), the amendment was a re-do of a cigar bar bill that failed last year.

Voters approved the smoking ban 63-36 in 2005 and according to a poll conducted earlier this year by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific found that 71 percent of the public is against any loophole to undo the ban.
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