PNS Daily Newscast - February 28 2020 

Coronavirus updates from coast to coast; and safety-net programs face deep cuts by Trump administration.

2020Talks - February 28, 2020 

Tomorrow are the South Carolina primaries, and former VP Joe Biden leads in the poll, followed by winner of the first three contests, Sen. Bernie Sanders and businessman Tom Steyer. Some Republican South Carolinians may vote for Sanders because they want closed primaries.

Oregon Senate Committee Works to Clear the Smoke in Oregon

February 16, 2007

Washington did it, California did it, even Montana and Idaho have done it. And now, the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would close the loopholes in Oregon's smokefree workplace law.

The current state law exempts bars, restaurants with bars, and bowling alleys -- many of which cater to families with children. Although some Oregon establishments have opted to go smokefree, only Eugene and Corvallis have passed city-wide laws that cover all places of business.

Critics of a more stringent law say the bill would hurt business, but Courtni Dresser of the Oregon chapter of the American Cancer Society says that common argument is not necessarily true.

"Some places are seeing more business, because the people who've been wanting to go to these places for a long time and have not gone because they're smoky, are now coming in, staying longer and enjoying themselves."

Dresser says it's a health issue, and that the current loopholes leave more than 3,500 workers and countless patrons exposed to secondhand smoke.

"People die from this. The science is clear on that issue and there's no reason why people need to be working in this environment."

Senate Bill 571 would close the loopholes, clearing the air for all Oregon workplaces, if it makes it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

Dondrea Warner/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - OR