Smoking Ban Round-Up

24 09 2008

I had planned on doing this last night, but most of the media in Lansing haven’t figured out the 24/7 news cycle.  I and the rest of the people in this City are still relegated getting news at 6, 10, and 11 PM then waiting for yesterday’s news to come in the form of a dead tree when we get.  Don’t get me wrong, WLAJ and WILX both had stories up last night, but I was hoping for a little more coverage with reaction from both sides.  The only place I could get that was MIRS which I’m not going to quote or link to since it’s a paid service.

The newspaper of record, The Lansing-State Journal, which is based in the state capital, doesn’t even cover the State Capitol.  The only article I could find on-line, and I had to do a keyword search to find it, was an AP article.  I’ve never lived in a town with a newspaper this bad.  It’s actually quite sad. 

Here’s what I found from two of the TV outlets and Detroit newspapers.

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Clean Smoking Ban Up for Vote! – FAILS

23 09 2008

I’m a little behind on this.  I just got a phone call telling me to turn on House TV.  HB 4163 is on the floor right now and they are debating. 

3:42 PM – The bill’s sponsor, Brenda Clack (D-Flint) is urging colleagues to support because they will NOT be the first State to do this.

The board is open and they are voting on concurring with the Senate substitute.

3:53 PM – The board is still open for record roll call.  There’s a lot of yellow still on the board.  As for our local reps, Joan Bauer, Mark Meadows, and Barb Byrum have all voted yes.

4:00 PM – An announcement was made that the board will be closed in one minute.  Still a lot of Representatives haven’t voted.

4:03 PM –  Board is closed.  I’m waiting for the clerk to read the results.  It’s too close to tell by just looking at it.

4:07 PM – By my count, the measure failed, but 19 Representatives have not voted.  The Chair is recognizing those who have not voted.  Tempoarry excuses for four of the Reps have been granted and two Aye votes have been added.

4:10 PM – Two more late Ayes and two more Nay’s.  It’s going to turn out to be a very, very close vote.

4:12 PM – 50 Yes vote and 49 No votes.  However, the the majority of the members serving have NOT voted in favor.  They needed 56 Aye votes.  There are 11 Representatives that did not vote so that means, the motion was not concurred.  HB 4163 did not pass today because not everyone voted.

Majority Floor Leader Tobocman moved to reconsider the vote by which HB 4163 failed and moved to pass that motion for the day.  What that means is the Democrats have the option to bring the vote up again later in the week or the session.

Press Release – Make MI Air Smoke Free

28 07 2008

The group pushing for a smoking ban in Michigan is using a study from Illinois to further their cause.  Full disclosure, I was in favor of a smoking ban in Illinois the entire time they were debating it in the legislature.  I’ve also been back home a few times since the ban went into effect and I can tell you, not everyone is following it.  There is still a minority that refuse to follow the ban and here’s the kicker, there’s nothing that can be done to them.  The rules are still in JCAR and because of that, State’s Attorney’s don’t know how to prosecute or even what charge can be filed.  Even with that, the majority of places are following the law and no longer allow smoking.  My mom works at a small bar in the middle of the country on weekends as a waitress.  While the kitchen is open, the building is no smoking.  Once the kitchen closes and the dinner crowd clears out, the smokes come back out.  Anyway, here’s the info the Campaign for Smokefree Air wants you to know.

Illinois Survey Finds Even Stronger Support for Smokefree Air Law After it Takes Effect

Michigan’s Comprehensive Smokefree Air Legislation Held Captive in House

LANSING, MICH. – People in Illinois are even more supportive of a smokefree air law that went into effect at the beginning of this year than they were before it was approved.

According to a recent survey, 73 percent of people support the new smokefree air law; survey results showed a majority in every sector regardless of political, geographic and educational backgrounds.

“Speaker Andy Dillon has not allowed a concurrence vote on House Bill 4163 for some apparent fear of economic, political or social repercussion,” said Judy Stewart, spokesperson for the Campaign for Smokefree Air. “This survey is yet another example of the numerous positive effects and vast public support of smokefree air in all worksites, including bars, restaurants and casinos.”

House Bill 4163, Michigan’s proposed comprehensive smokefree legislation, was approved by the Senate in May and has been sitting in the House awaiting action ever since because Speaker Dillon refuses to hold a vote.

The Illinois survey also found that 38-percent of respondents are less likely to go to a smoke-filled casino, while only 17 percent are more likely to go to casinos if smoking is allowed.

Furthermore, 96 percent of respondents believe secondhand smoke is a health hazard. In addition, it was reported that 88 percent of all respondents and 68 percent of smokers believe restaurants, bars and casinos are healthier places for customers and employees under Illinois’ law.

“The people of Illinois supported the smokefree law and now, after living with it for six months, they support it even more,” Stewart said. “The people of Michigan support making all worksites in our state smokefree, including bars, restaurants and casinos. Sitting on the bill rather than allowing it to come up for a vote isn’t just about playing politics – it’s about playing with people’s lives.”