SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — A move that would repeal part of Shreveport’s Smoke-Free Air Act to allow smoking in certain businesses, including casinos, has been put on hold after an initial vote to approve the changes passed, causing confusion and consternation during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
“Apparently that’s what they want, so I’m tabling it. The legislation. And I won’t be voting to remove it to put it back up,” Chairman of the Shreveport’s city council District 3, James Flurry said Wednesday.
After more than two hours of discussion and public comment that included many speaking in opposition to the exemptions, the council initially voted 4-3 to approve the proposed changes to the ordinance.
Councilmembers Grayson Boucher, James Flurry, James Green, Tabatha Taylor all voted in favor of the exemptions. Jerry Bowman Jr., LeVette Fuller, and John Nickelson voted against. However, Councilwoman Taylor immediately made a motion to reconsider the vote after saying she was confused.
The rest of the council agreed to reconsider the vote due to the confusion and then agreed to table the whole thing until concerns over the fact that smoking is still allowed in casinos on the Bossier City side of the Red River can be addressed with the city’s new mayor, Tommy Chandler.
The citywide smoking ban was originally approved by the city council in July 2020 and was initially set to go into effect the following month, but was delayed a year over concerns about how implementation might affect businesses and employment.
Those concerns prompted District B Councilman James Flurry to propose the exemptions. As it stands now, the ordinance bans smoking from all workplaces, including bars and casinos in Shreveport. It is set to go into effect on August 1.