Doesn’t it figure? I just put a post up this afternoon about the smoking ban bill not being filed. A few hours later, I get a comment on that post with a link to a Flint Journal story. The bill was introduced last Thursday and sent to the Commerce Committee. Today, the bill was filed which is why it just showed up on the Legislature’s website.
HB 4099 differs from the bill introduced last year because it is a total ban on smoking…including casino’s and cigar bars. That was a big issue a few months ago. The Detroit legislators don’t want and probably won’t let the bill pass without an exemption for the casinos.
To me, a ban with the those two exemptions is acceptable. I don’t like it. I think if the casinos are exempted, then bars (not any place that serves any kind food) should be exempted as well and I don’t want to see that. Exemptions start a slippery slope and everyone thinks they should be an exemption. It’s not a matter of Big Brother telling you want to do as the tobacco lobby will try to tell you. I can’t think of any other thing that people are allowed to do that makes others physically uncomfortable. If smokers had an ounce of respect for people around them, this wouldn’t be an issue, but most smokers feel like it’s their god given right to make everyone around them uncomfortable.
I wouldn’t expect this to move pretty fast. In the overall scheme of things, this bill isn’t high priority. Michigan has bigger problems than a smoking ban and I would guess they will drag it out to the next election. You don’t want people to forget that you voted in favor of the ban. It’s one of those social issues that get people on both sides fired up.