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NEWS: Illinois Senate Exempt From Its Own Smoking Ban

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posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 11:16 AM
Under the guise of an 'old tradition', members of the Illinois senate refuse to subject themselves to the same laws they have created against smoking in public buildings. Many people, including some former senators, are asking for change. The majority of senators however have choosen to ignore these complaints and continue their tradition of smoking on the Senate floor much to their dismay.
State lawmakers long ago voted to restrict smoking in public places, but one of the few places the rules don't apply is under the Capitol dome--or at least under the Senate half of it.

"Some people say it's a tradition in the Senate, but so was spitting in spittoons 40 years ago," said Rep. Bob Molaro (D-Chicago), a former senator who tried unsuccessfully to get his colleagues to change their rules on smoking. "We're passing clean-air laws for everybody else, but then in the chamber we do whatever we want. It smells, literally, of hypocrisy."

Members of the media and some staffers light up on the Senate floor. But visitors in the gallery above, where several "no smoking" signs are on display, are restricted to partaking of the habit only second-hand. Taking their smoke breaks outside the Capitol on Tuesday, some state workers said they don't think it is fair that Senate members exempt themselves from the rules everyone else has to follow.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Although US legislators have a long history of creating laws for the public that they don't have to follow themselves, such as laws against discrimination and minimum wage as the article also mentions, these problems have been corrected, as should this one.

It's a great hypocrisy when those who set the laws do not have to follow them. How can any law be effective when the people see their own leaders violating a rule that they are made to follow?

[edit on 26-1-2005 by Banshee]

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