On Friday, the Texas House approved a state-wide smoking ban adding it onto another bill that must pass in order to balance the budget. Nice huh? State Representative Myra Crownover is the one pushing this legislation down our throats. The amendment passed 73-66 and if you are wondering how our area reps voted Frullo, Perry, Landtroop, and Price all voted against. Kudos to them, but everyone else who voted for this thing shouldn't be allowed to call themselves conservatives any longer.

The bill still has to be debated and picked apart by the Senate, but the thought is that it should pass pretty easily. I wish we could count on the Senate to protect business, property, and individual rights but we can't. So, unless enough people call and voice their opposition to the smoking ban, it looks like it will pass.

The smoking ban would mean that you couldn't light up inside most places. Pool halls, tobacco stores, charitable bingo games, and fraternal organizations would be exempt from the ban as the proposal stands currently. Those who support the bill say it protects employees and other people who work in bars that currently allow smoking.

What happened to personal responsibility? Since when are people forced to work inside bars? People decide where they want to work and spend time. If they decide to hang out in a smoke filled room, that should be their choice and those who don't want to go there can go somewhere else. It should be up to the individual businesses to decide whether or not they want to allow smoking.

This bill is an embarrassment to Texas. For years now our lawmakers have scored political points by saying that government is intruding into our personal lives robbing us of liberty and making it even harder to have personal freedom. What a bunch of hypocrites. This bill is the very definition of government intrusion.

Those Republicans who support this amendment and law should be targeted for defeat. They aren't looking out for our rights or property rights. They are for big government as long as it's on the state level, and that just isn't right.

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