SPRINGFIELD | A proposal to ban smoking on all state-supported universities and community colleges received just enough votes Wednesday to advance out of the Illinois Senate.
The measure received 30 "yes" votes and 22 "no" votes.
Sponsored by state Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, the provision would require smoking to be entirely banned from public university and community college property by July 1, 2014, including outdoor areas.
Link argued passage Wednesday would be particularly appropriate because it was "cancer prevention" day.
Opponent state Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, repeated arguments he made last week when a favorable vote was taken but was not large enough to pass.
"It's just as bad a bill now as it was when it got 25 votes a few days ago," said Righter, whose district includes Eastern Illinois University.
"Unlike banning smoking indoors, what we are talking about in this bill is banning smoking across square miles," Righter said. He urged that university trustees would be better suited to set campus smoking policies.
The proposal now goes to the Illinois House.
The legislation is Senate Bill 2202.