Press Release – Joan Bauer Introduces Smoke Free Bill

19 02 2009

I’m confused and it’s late, so I’m not going to dive into this as much as I should just yet.  Apparently, Rep Joan Bauer has introduced a Smoke Free Michigan Bill.  I thought there was already one introduced.  I’ll get to the bottom of it in the next couple days…or I know there’s a reader/commentor who will know what’s going on and fill me in.  The bill is HB 4341.  It was introduced on February 18 and referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform.

 Campaign for Smokefree Air Reignites Legislative Effort To Make all Workplaces Smokefree

LANSING, Mich. – The battle for smokefree air continued today as Rep. Joan Bauer (D-Lansing) introduced House Bill 4341, an effort to make all workplaces in Michigan smokefree.

The Campaign for Smokefree Air supports Bauer’s bill, which would protect all Michigan workers from secondhand smoked exposure, including those at restaurants, bars and the three Detroit casinos. Bauer also is a leader in the newly formed Smokefree Air Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral organization asking lawmakers to sign a pledge to work on smokefree legislation during this term.

“Michigan workers have waited long enough,” said Susan Schechter, CSA spokesperson and director of advocacy at the American Lung Association of Michigan. “We made progress last year, but not enough. It is time for measures such as Rep. Bauer’s bill to be passed and signed into law. Protecting the health of all workers needs to be a priority in the legislature.”

Smokefree legislation has received a groundswell of support lately, including in Gov. Granholm’s State of the State speech on Feb. 4 and from lawmakers who heard from constituents during the November 2008 election that this was an important issue to be resolved. Bauer is dedicated to the passing of smokefree legislation and hopes her fellow lawmakers will focus on the health of Michigan residents this term.

“Protecting all workers from inhaling secondhand smoke in order to bring home a paycheck is the priority here,” Bauer said. “No one should have to choose between their health and their job. As many as 2,400 Michigan residents die each year from secondhand smoke exposure. It is time for us to do our part in the legislature and protect our constituents.”

Polling sponsored by CSA in April 2005 and January 2008 consistently showed overwhelming support for smokefree workplaces across Michigan. In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General released a report concluding that the only way to protect workers and residents from deadly secondhand smoke exposure is through comprehensive smokefree air laws. Currently, more than 30 states have adopted protective smokefree air laws.

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2 responses

19 02 2009
Mike

Bauer’s bill is the “official” (my words) smoke-free House bill for 2009-2010. The anti-smoking groups had been asking supporters to contact their reps to support it for several weeks.

Unlike HB 4163 last term, this bill only has one Detroit rep as a co-sponsor. And the fact it has been referred to a committee chaired by the Detroit rep most vocal about a Detroit casino exemption in 2008 tells me it will still have trouble in its drafted form in the House. Upseting the Detroit delegatiion is not what House leadership wants to do.

I don’t know what the Senate will do this time around. Its bills went to the remove Government Operations committe chaired by Majority Leader Mike Bishop again.

19 02 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

I knew you’d bail me out. 🙂 Thanks! I still got a few questions, but I’m going to try to get in touch with the bill’s sponsors to see if I can get things straightened out.

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