Trying to make sense out of law

Trying to make sense out of law

By KEVIN R. TENGESDAL Bismarck Feb 8, 2013

House Bill 1253: A bill for an Act to amend and reenact sections 23-12-10.4 and 23-42-04 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to reimbursement of costs incurred in complying with smoking restrictions in public places and places of employment.

From the Jan. 24 Tribune article: “Jeanne Prom, director of the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy, told the House Human Resources Committee that the measure would set a precedent by allowing businesses to pass the cost of compliance with a law on to the government.”

As a non-smoker who has difficulty understanding one group oppressing another group, I ponder: The taxpayers voted this draconian law into place. They wanted smoking banned statewide, so why shouldn’t taxpayers help with the costs?

If North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy and others are insistent on people quitting tobacco, instead of spending money on ads, why not invest in the costs of making North Dakota totally smoke-free?

Or should we just let the private business owners pass the costs on to customers by raising prices? Or should we let them simply incur the costs involved and cheer them on as they go out of business? Which would be the better example of “North Dakota nice”?


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