The Senate returned to committee Monday a bill intended to curb smoking in Utah restaurants because it contained a number of changes Senate Health Committee members said were not addressed in previous committee meetings.
Sponsor Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, said SB88 contained "no substantive changes."But Sen. Karen Shepard, D-Salt Lake, said the new bill placed a number of requirements on small businesses that had not been addressed by the committee.
The substitute bill would in effect allow restaurants to apply for an "exemption" that would permit smoking in a restaurant.
The exemption application fee would be $300, to cover enforcement costs of the local department of health and cost $150 to renew annually.
However, restaurant owners who apply for the exemption must provide a non-smoking area proportionate to the preference of its customers and ensure that no one in the non-smoking area is exposed to tobacco smoke by providing proper ventilation or physical barriers to block smoke pollution.
The bill also requires restaurant owners to post signs designating a smoking area, state the dangers of smoke and list the name and telephone number of the local health department so non-smokers can contact health officials if they are exposed to smoke.