I’ll update this post as more information becomes available.
UPDATE – WOOD-TV is reporting via the Associated Press that the smoking ban has passed in the Senate by a vote of 25-12. The bill now goes back to the House where they will decide if they will carry out the full ban or come up with some exceptions. Governor Granholm has said in the past she will sign it.
UPDATE – Governor Granhom released the following statement HB 4136
“I congratulate the State Senate for approving legislation that bans smoking in public places. Their action sends a strong message across Michigan – and the nation – that we place a high priority on the health of our citizens. It will go a long way toward influencing the actions of our young people, too. I urge the House to act as quickly as possible.”
UPDATE – Reaction from the American Cancer Society and Campaign for Smoke Free Air.
“The Senate has been a major hurdle on this issue for many months and today we are very excited to clear that hurdle and continue moving forward,” said Judy Stewart, spokesperson for the Campaign for Smokefree Air (CSA) and government relations manager for the American Cancer Society Great Lakes Division. “We appreciate Senate Majority Leader Bishop allowing a vote on this important issue, even though he is still opposed. It shows that he has heard our concerns about the greater good for all Michigan residents.”
I agree with the comments about Sen. Bishop. I have e-mailed him and told him the same thing. In Illinois, this never would have happened. If the leaders don’t plan on voting for something, they won’t call it…unless they can use it for political reasons.
I’m working on getting a comment from the Michigan Restaurant Association. If they reply to my e-mails, I will post their reply as well.
One thing I overlooked when I originally posted this is the Senate took away all exemptions. The House version of the bill gave casinos an exception. The reasoning behind this is because the State of Michigan can’t regulate Indian casinos, so in order to level the playing field for the casino’s in Detroit and other non-Indian casinos, they made the exemption. This could be a hold up when it goes back to the house. The House has adjourned for the day, so hopefully they will tackle this soon, but it looks like the fight isn’t over and this isn’t a done deal yet.