Smoking Bill Probably Delayed Until Winter

11 06 2008

MIRS is reporting today that the smoking ban bill is probably on hold until winter.

That’s because the Senate Majority Leader said today that the next move on the legislation is up to the House.

Senate Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester)said he has other fish to fry before he gets to the ban, adding, “I don’t know if we’re going to do much before the end of the year on this.”

I’m guessing that means HB 5074 will not be called.  Instead, it will be up to the House to call HB 4163 which is the original bill with Senate amendments that give no exceptions to casino’s, cigar bars, and bingo halls.

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10 responses

12 06 2008
Mike

Bishop said something different on Mackinac Island 2 weeks ago.

If his new opinion holds, that may be a big problem in the House. Besides the casinos, which seems to be everyone’s focus, the lack of an exemption for tobacco shops and cigar bars makes the bill over-the-top for many lawmakers. They may decide to put it in commitee.

49 other states permit smoking in tobacco shops. That’s a small exemption that heart and lung groups wrote into voter-passed laws in several other states . And cigar bars are legal in New York, New Jersey, Colorado, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Connecticut and several others.

A ban closes cigar bars and makes any lounge areas of tobacco stores worthless. Nonsmokers are no more likely in either establishment than non-drinkers are to work as wine stewards.

It seems interesting Bishop is willing to allow votes on issues such as tax increases that the party opposes, but this is the issue he draws a line in the sand on.

12 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I thought the same thing when I read that. I posted about the Mackinac Island meeting here a few weeks ago.

Even though I’ve come out in support of a ban, I do agree with you 100% on tobacco shops. I don’t think casino’s should be the point of contention. If that’s the case, bars should be exempted as well and I don’t want to see either.

12 06 2008
Mike

Bishop has said so many things on the smoking ban, including that it “was not a priority” for months, he could be saying something different in a week after someone in his caucus talks to him about it. Andy Dillon was quoted as saying the smoking ban “gives (House Dems) leverage” on other issues.

One small clarification to your posts– the 2007-2008 session does not end this month. The House wants a long summer break to campaign (since they’re up for election this fall), but they should be back sometime after Labor Day.

It’s possible the House and Senate could continue to talk behind the scenes.

Whether it passes before break or not, it still would not take effect until around April 1. So they have time to talk, if they want to.

Casinos have been points of contention in every state with a smoking ban.

12 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

Thanks for the clarification. I was just looking at the schedules and both only went until June,so I guess I assumed the session would be over June 26th. I guess I’m still used to Illinois’ legislative schedule…which actually ended two weeks ago.

Casino’s were a point of contention there as well because most of the casino’s were on the the Mississippi which butted up against two states that hadn’t banned smoking at that point (Iowa just passed a smoking ban) yet they were able to pass one. And no matter how bad you think Michigan’s leader’s are, they aren’t nearly as bad as Chicago’s…..er, Illinois’ legislative leaders.

28 06 2008
Greg Evans

Ban smoking now! If the politicians in office right now can’t get it done, then they can be replaced in November. This is what the people want, so do your damn jobs and pass the bill. You work for us!!!

28 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I agree with that, but I don’t think the smoking ban alone is a good reason to vote someone out of office.

30 06 2008
Mike

It’s quite possible they won’t resolve this until “lame duck,” after the November elections.

And as important as a smoking ban is to many people, I don’t think it’s one of those issues that motivates large numbers of people to vote for or against a candidate. Complicating the issue in Michigan is the fact both chambers have voted for a smoking ban — in fact, the House has voted for two.

30 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I agree. As much as I’d like to see it, I won’t base my vote on that issue alone. It’s not really an important enough issue.

7 08 2008
Harry F. Dunn

If the politicians work for us and the house and senate can’t agree to an issue, put it on the ballot and let the public vote for it. Make it two issues, one for no exceptions and one with exceptions and make the wording clear so people don’t get confused. Smoking bans are a wave of the future all over the world because people want to live healthier lives. Let us decide our fate. We are not stupid.

7 08 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I agree, but unfortunately, that’s not how politics work. There needs to be a grassroots effort to get a question on the ballot. Politicians will never leave a question like this up to the people. I haven’t looked at campaign finance reports, but I would be there’s some big money coming in from those that oppose it and not a whole lot from those in favor of it.

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