The big news of the week is that the Indiana State Supreme Court has overturned the Smokefree ordinance in Evansville. In a nutshell, they had an issue with the exemption that was extended to our riverboat casino.

So what does this mean for area bars, nightclubs and restaurants? Who knows. I can only assume that some will allow smoking in their establishment while others will remain smoke-free.

And how does Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke feel about this decision? After all, he and the city council worked together to pass the ordinance in the first place. We received the following statement from his office.

We are disappointed by today’s ruling of the Indiana Supreme Court. The ordinance that was struck down was a bipartisan piece of legislation. It was passed 9-0 by the City Council and approved by me. The legislation was designed to protect the health and safety of Evansville residents, not to create the so called unequal treatment between bars, taverns, private clubs and the riverboat casino. It is important to note that in addition to the bipartisan approval by the City Council and me, the ordinance was deemed constitutional by the trial court, three court of appeal judges, and two of the five Indiana Supreme Court justices. We encourage businesses to continue to enforce a no smoking policy, while the city continues to evaluate the legal implications of this ruling.

Lloyd Winnecke, Mayor City of Evansville

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