College smokers may be put out next summer if a bill, hoping to clear the air at Illinois’ public colleges and universities, becomes a law.
The new bill, sponsored by Sen. Terry Link, passed the state Senate Wednesday with a 30-22 vote, after a failed attempt in April.
Under the bill, any state-supported university or community college must form a task force charged with implementing the smoking ban and carrying out disciplinary actions as it chooses.
Current regulations prevent smokers from smoking near public buildings and requires them to stay 15 feet from building entrances.
Many campuses across Illinois have already taken measures to keep the ashes off their campuses.
A smoking ban took effect in August at the College of DuPage after the board of trustees formally approved a "tobacco-free campus." The Glen Ellyn campus joined about 650 other colleges or universities nationwide with similar smoking bans.
McHenry County College and Waubonsee Community College's campuses also have smoking bans in place.
The proposal now heads to the House. If the state-wide ban is approved, it would take effect July 1, 2014.