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January 21, 2009


KANSAS CITY, MO. – Today, a bartender at a small bar and billiard parlor in Kansas City
appealed to the Missouri Court of Appeals from a decision of the Circuit Court of Jackson
County upholding Kansas City’s smoking ordinance and finding her guilty of violating it. The
ordinance, which has been in effect since June 21, 2008, makes it a crime for nearly any enclosed
workplace in Kansas City – including all bars and restaurants – to allow any smoking indoors.

The case concerns a charge against a bartender at JC’s Sports Bar, a small bar and licensed
billiard parlor in the Northland. On January 16, the Honorable Richard Standridge, Associate
Circuit Judge, found the bartender guilty of violating the smoking ordinance by allowing
smoking inside JC’s, and sentenced her to pay a fine of $100.00, plus court costs.

Missouri’s Clean Indoor Air Act, which Governor John Ashcroft signed into law in 1992,
permits “bars, taverns, restaurants that seat less than 50 people, bowling alleys and billiard
parlors,” among a variety of other areas including “private residences,” not to maintain any
indoor nonsmoking area at all. The City Prosecutor has agreed that JC’s is a “bar” and “billiard
parlor” within the meaning of this state law.

The defense argues that because state law permits JC’s to maintain no indoor nonsmoking areas,
Kansas City’s ordinance, which makes it a crime for JC’s to allow smoking indoors at all,
impermissibly conflicts with state law, and therefore violates the Constitution of Missouri. A
city’s ordinance conflicts with a state law when it prohibits what the state law permits or vice-
versa. The question in the appeal is whether Kansas City’s smoking ordinance is constitutionally
invalid because it prohibits what Missouri’s Clean Indoor Air Act permits.

On January 5, Judge Standridge had issued a short order upholding the ordinance.

The Kansas City Business Rights Coalition (KCBRC) is an alliance of more than 150 local
businesses throughout the Kansas City Metropolitan Area devoted to supporting the right of free
enterprise to participate in a free market. The KCBRC led the fight against Kansas City’s
smoking ordinance, and arranged for JC’s bartender’s legal defense in this case.