AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Senators have voted to ban smoking from the Capitol grounds.
Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat, complains that smokers pollute the areas and entryways around the Capitol and subject visiting school children to second-hand smoke. His proposal would make it a Class C misdemeanor, which is subject to a $500 fine.
Whitmire says that's the same penalty for smoking on a public school campus.
Smokers would have to move outside the fence surrounding the Capitol grounds, which can be several hundred feet from the building in some places.
The ban was placed on a broader bill about the agency that manages the state Capitol complex. That bill, and the smoking ban, now goes to the House for consideration.