Legislation to ban smoking in most public buildings was one of several smoking restrictions passed by a Senate committee.
Members of the Senate Education and Health Committee also approved bills Thursday to ban smoking in restaurants and bars and to allow localities to limit smoking in case the broader ban on smoking in all public buildings is shot down.
Senator Mary Margaret Whipple's bill would apply to restaurants, banks, sporting arenas, shopping malls and other public places. It would exclude hotel rooms designated for smoking, specialty tobacco stores and private rooms in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Whipple's bill passed 12-3 and now heads to the full Senate.