The state of Nebraska has been one of the most looked at states in the terms of pending cigar issues. Originally, cigar bars and cigar lounges were not meant to be a part of the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act and as a result were exempt from the law. However, a pool hall operator felt their exemption from the law was unfair as he could no longer allow smoking in his establishment.
So began a big legal battle that eventually led to the Nebraska Supreme Court ruling that the exemption provided to cigar bars and lounges was unconstitutional and they would have to prohibit their customers who knowingly enter a smoke environment from lighting up.
Thankfully Senator Tyson Larson a Republican from Oneill saw the travesty and set forth the motions to have the language changed and allow smoking to resume.
Today, that bill, LB118 passed with a 45-3 vote in the state legislature. All that remains now is the signature of Governor Pete Ricketts-R. The Governor is currently on the road, however, he has not announced a position on the bill and it is hopeful he will sign the bill when he returns.
If signed, the law would go into effect immediately due to the emergency clause attached to it. The state Liquor Control Commission will be ready to receive applications for cigar shop endorsements and the endorsements could be issued in as soon as a week.
Nebraska is home to almost 1.9 million residents over 77,354 square miles and became a state in 1867.