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updated: 4/24/2013 5:32 PM

Illinois Senate votes down college smoking ban

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  • Terry Link

      Terry Link

 
 

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Senate rejected a measure Wednesday that would have banned smoking on all public university and community college campuses.

State Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat, wrote the proposal, which fell five votes short of the 30 needed to pass. Twenty-five senators voted in favor and 23 against.

Link called upon his colleagues to seize the opportunity to affect the lives of "generations and generations." In prior debates, Link has stressed the importance of banning smoking on campuses because of how many young people start smoking in college.

Opponents of the measure said the law could be difficult to enforce and would make life overly difficult for smokers who live on campus.

"The frustration is at some point we have to say enough is enough," said state Sen. Dave Syverson, a Rockford Republican. "We've said before we don't want people smoking inside of buildings, we want them to smoke outside, and now we are telling them they can't smoke outside. This is going to be tough to police."

After the measure failed, Link moved to keep it alive, meaning lawmakers could vote again if he thinks there's more support later this year.

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