Posted by MAXIMUS
Today, Speaker Bill Howell signaled that he will support a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars. In fairness, there are some exclusions that would actually enable smokers to smoke. Bearing Drift broke the story with this:
“I am pleased to join in announcing a reasonable compromise on an issue important to Virginians. The compromise strikes a fair balance between the rights of smokers who choose to enjoy a legal product and the rights of other individuals who want to enjoy a smoke-free environment when eating at a restaurant. This legislation is all about finding opportunities for cooperation and compromise where possible. And, where state leaders can find and share such common ground, we should.” http://bearingdrift.com/2009/02/05/speaker-howell-statement-on-smoking-ban/
and Bearing Drift went on to say this:
"The release detailed the legislation as banning smoking in nearly all restaurants across the Commonwealth, allowing narrow exceptions for private clubs and restaurants with a designated smoking room that is physically separated and independently ventilated from non-smoking dining areas." http://bearingdrift.com/2009/02/05/speaker-howell-statement-on-smoking-ban/
Speaker Howell is an innate consensus builder--those skills were key as to why Howell was selected as Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates after the resignation of former Speaker Vance Wilkins. Speaker Howell is a good man, a decent family man, however, through the fog of compromise, Speaker Howell has thrown principals under the bus for the sake of a solution. In so doing, Speaker Howell has:
1.) forsaken decreased regulation in favor of increased regulation;
2.) forsaken freedom of choice in favor of curtailing freedoms enjoyed in Virginia for over 400 years;
3.) forsaken lais·sez faire practices of Capitalism where the market determines new policies to adjust to market desires/conditions in favor of Governmental Dictation.
Smoking kills. No question. So does drinking and driving (which laws have not stopped, prevented somewhat yes, but not stopped).
Who at the state level will enforce this new non Restaurant smoking policy of the Speaker and Governor Kaine? The Speaker does not tell us.
With public education and law enforcement being cut into the bone in this years budget, WHERE will Speaker Howell find the money to fund an Enforcement Program to support this ban? The Federal Bailout funds coming from the Obama Administration? If Speaker Howell does this, he would be diverting those funds from legitimate core functions of Virginia Government that are being cut or reduced due to the recession at the state level.
Is Speaker Howell's ban on smoking really a core function of state government or just Nanny State Elitism gone wild? Under this Speakers watch, Maryland has now officially annexed Virginia.
For the uninformed, by definition, this is what Speaker Howell has really forsaken with his smoking ban compromise:
lais·sez faire also lais·ser faire (ls fâr, lz) KEY NOUN:
An economic doctrine that opposes governmental regulation of or interference in commerce beyond the minimum necessary for a free-enterprise system to operate according to its own economic laws. Noninterference in the affairs of others.
What can we expect next? The Speaker trotts out Delegate Clark Hogan to claim that the restaurant smoking ban was really his idea?
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Posted by MAXIMUS