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In a victory for advocates of property rights in North Carolina, H259, the bill that would “Prohibit Smoking in Public and Work Places” was defeated yesterday at the state House in Raleigh. By a six vote margin, H259, “Prohibit Smoking in Public and Work Places,” failed on its second reading. Nineteen Democrats voted against the proposal and eight Republicans supported it.
During the floor debate, which lasted for more than two hours, property rights advocates questioned the state’s right to make a legal activity illegal on private property. Others expressed concern about punishing property owners for the actions of their patrons. House Minority Leader Stam stated, “This bill is well-intentioned, and it may have good effects if passed, but it does not protect private property rights or due process rights.”
North Carolina grassroots activists generated thousands of calls, letters and emails and made personal visits to the state capitol to oppose H259.
Kathy Hartkopf, FreedomWorks North Carolina’s Legislative Liaison, commented:
“H259 violated one of the liberties FreedomWorks holds most dear. It has been an issue that has deeply concerned our activists who spent many hours working in opposition. From literature drops and legislative visits to telephoning and e-mailing legislators, we made our voices heard.
To the sixty-one legislators who stood in opposition to H259, on behalf of our more than 32,000 North Carolina members, please accept our sincerest thanks for standing up for private property rights.”