House May Give on Smoking Ban

19 06 2008

MIRS News is reporting that Houe Majority Floor Leader Steve Tobocman (D-Detroit) may call the total ban (HB 4163) that the Senate passed for a vote if the Senate doesn’t act on the bill the House sent back to them. 

Tobocman said he will wait to “see if the Senate goes along with the exemptions,” but if it does not, House Democrats are prepared to adopt the Sen. Ray Basham (D-Taylor) bill that imposes an across-the-board smoking ban on every public place.

There is no timeframe given.  It sounds like they’re hoping the threat of passing the total ban will get the Senate to move on the ban with exemptions.  Sounds to me like he’s calling the Senate’s bluff.

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7 responses

20 06 2008
Mike

It’s an interesting ploy. My guess is with Mike Bishop alternately saying “the people of Michigan want a ban” followed by “but look at what it did to the Windsor casino,” the House thinks the truth is the Senate GOP doesn’t want to put cigar bars and tobacco shops out of business or cost Detroit or the state casino revenue.

I have no idea if they’re right. I guess it will all come to a head sometime in the fall.

20 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

yeah, my guess is the Senate is trying to say “hey look, we passed the ban. It’s the House’s fault it was never put in.” This is what I love about politics. 🙂 I don’t really care about the casinos. If you exempt them, then bars need to be exempt then you’re not really changing the law, so why go through it. I’ll give cigar bars the exemption though. You don’t go in there for anything other than smokes.

20 06 2008
Mike

I don’t think that ploy will work. But this bill(s) has moved in so many ways, I’d no longer bet on what it will look like when (if) it’s enacted into law. But plenty of states recently have exempted casinos while banning smoking in regular bars (the same is even more true for cigar bars).

Casinos were exempted in New Jersey, Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Iowa, while banning it in most or all regular “bars,” so there is a pattern there (as I’m sure the casino lobbyists have pointed out). In New Mexico and Iowa, it was the numerous Indian casinos in the state that led to the exemption for the non-Indian-owned casinos.

New Jersey and Colorado went back and removed the casino exemption, although Atlantic City gets to build airport-style smoking rooms and the small Colorado casinos have seen revenue drops this year.

After seeing Atlantic City’s revenue drop the last two years, Pennsylvania decided to exempt a portion of casino floors in a smoking ban signed just this week.

I’ve read that the anti-smoking groups will make a push for the exemption-less bill (HB 4163) this week, before the legislature goes on summer break. I don’t think they’ll succeed, though. I’d be surprised if Andy Dillon and Steve Tobocman are willing to give up on the Senate that quickly, based on what he told MIRS newsletter this week.

23 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I’ve said before my experience with this issue is Illinois’ recent ban which banned smoking in all workplaces except cigar bars. I was in favor of this ban. Not much good has come out of Illinois’ statehouse since Rod Blagojevich became governor. Yes, gambling revenues are down. I don’t spend a lot of times in Casino’s. Recently, I went up to Soaring Eagle. A half hour after being there, my eyes hurt from all the smoke. I know Soaring Eagle would be exempt from this ban. Instead of exempting the casino’s because of the Indian Casinos, the legislature should focus their effort on trying to get a ban in them as well…even if that means working with the tribes. Illinois didn’t have any Indian casino’s, so I have no idea how things work when it comes to the law.

IF the ban is passed with Casino exemptions, I really feel tavern’s should also be exempt. When I say tavern, I mean a bar that doesn’t serve any food. Those establishments cater to a clientel that doesn’t include a kids or those that don’t want to be around smoke. Any bar that serves food would still need to be inlcuded in the ban, but bars that just cater to drinkers, should be exempt.

23 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I’ve said before my experience with this issue is Illinois’ recent ban which banned smoking in all workplaces except cigar bars. I was in favor of this ban. Not much good has come out of Illinois’ statehouse since Rod Blagojevich became governor. Yes, gambling revenues are down. I don’t spend a lot of times in Casino’s. Recently, I went up to Soaring Eagle. A half hour after being there, my eyes hurt from all the smoke. I know Soaring Eagle would be exempt from this ban. Instead of exempting the casino’s because of the Indian Casinos, the legislature should focus their effort on trying to get a ban in them as well…even if that means working with the tribes. Illinois didn’t have any Indian casino’s, so I have no idea how things work when it comes to the law.

IF the ban is passed with Casino exemptions, I really feel tavern’s should also be exempt. When I say tavern, I mean a bar that doesn’t serve any food. Those establishments cater to a clientel that doesn’t include a kids or those that don’t want to be around smoke. Any bar that serves food would still need to be inlcuded in the ban, but bars that just cater to drinkers, should be exempt.

23 06 2008
Mike

I hear that a lot about Illinois’ gov. Anyway, I’m sure Michigan’s governor will try to get a ban in the Indian casinos, but it won’t work. Those tribal compacts are usually good for 10 to 20 years, and I can’t see the tribes wanting to reopen them just so the state can take something away. Several tribes have stopped revenue-sharing payments since the state put keno in bars, claiming its unfair competition.

No state that I’m aware of has been able to institute or bargain to get a smoking ban in Native American casinos.

I’ve been to many Indian casinos in California, which has the nation’s second-lowest smoking rate, and smoking is allowed in all of them. If tribes anywhere had an incentive to ban smoking, it would be there.

23 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

Thanks for the insight. I had no idea how the tribal compacts worked. That’s too bad it probably can’t be worked out that way.

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