Press Release – Joan Bauer Comments on Hunter’s Bill

22 04 2009

From a House Democrats press release –

Bauer Joins the Fight for Smoke Free Air by 2010

Legislation would put smoke-free workplace in the hands of voters

LANSING – The Michigan State Senate today introduced a plan that will place the smoke-free workplace issue on the statewide ballot for Michigan voters to consider in 2010.

If approved by both chambers, Senate Bill 469 would ask state voters to decide the fate of an issue that has been debated in the legislature for more than a decade. The bill, introduced by State Senator Tupac Hunter (D-Detroit) is comprehensive in its definition of workplaces, and includes restaurants, bars, tobacco specialty shops and casinos.

“I am confident that Michigan voters will embrace smoke-free air legislation,” said State Representative Joan Bauer (D-Lansing). “I would hope that my colleagues and I can take the proper steps to protect workers before the November 2010 election season by passing HB 4341, which I introduced earlier this year.”

Michigan voters on have been polled on smoke-free workplaces three times in the past five years and each poll has shown consistent support for the issue at or above 66 percent.

 

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Press Release – Michigan Voters Support Smoking Ban

30 03 2009

This is from a Campaign for Smoke Free Michigan press release.  I’m always a little skeptical of organizations that release “poll numbers” that favor their position.  I’m not saying they did, but they could have conducted this “survey” a hundred times until they got the results they wanted.

Michigan voters support smokefree air
New poll shows overwhelming support for smokefree legislation

LANSING, Mich. – A new poll released today by the Campaign for Smokefree Air (CSA) shows an
overwhelming majority of voters are supportive of legislation to make worksites in Michigan smokefree.
Sixty-six percent — two-thirds of those interviewed — favored smokefree workplace legislation, including 52 percent who “strongly favor” it. When asked specifically about legislation including making casinos smokefree, two-thirds, or 64 percent, were in favor of including casinos in the legislation. The numbers are consistent with the poll CSA conducted in 2005 of Michigan voters.

Support for a smokefree law crosses party lines, as 73 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of independents and 62 percent of Republicans say they favor smokefree legislation that includes restaurants, bars, and casinos.

“Smokefree air is not a political issue – it’s a public health issue that will improve the economy of our state and keep all workers from having to inhale secondhand smoke in the workplace,” said Susan Schechter, spokesperson for CSA and advocacy director for the American Lung Association. “We’re hoping that legislators will take this information seriously and listen to what Michigan residents want and pass legislation – with no exemptions.” Read the rest of this entry »





Another Local Restaurant Goes Smoke Free

20 02 2009

With a smoking ban looming, another local restaurant has decided to cut off smoking in the building.

Sammy’s Lounge on Jolly Road in Lansing has been a staple of the South side for 53 years. People could walk in without reservation and enjoy a meal, a drink, and yes, a smoke. That ended Thursday. Sammy’s went smoke-free in an effort to get ahead of the curve, as owner Mark Corey puts it. The curve being a statewide smoking ban.

I drove by Sammy’s today and the sign says the restaurant is smoke free, so I’m guessing the bar is not.  Either way, it’s a step in the right direction.





Press Release – Granholm Smoking Ban Remarks in State of State

10 02 2009

From a Campaign for Smokefree Air press release….

Granholm once again calls on lawmakers to enact smokefree legislation in her State of the State address

LANSING, Mich. –During her State of the State address, Gov. Jennifer Granholm, once again, strongly urged Michigan lawmakers to pass comprehensive smokefree workplace legislation.

“We again applaud the governor’s comments tonight and her support for smokefree air,” said Susan Schechter, CSA spokesperson and director of advocacy at the American Lung Association of Michigan. “Many lawmakers have done their research and know that in 2006 U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona released a report stating the only way to protect Americans from secondhand smoke is through comprehensive smokefree workplace legislation and policies. It’s time for lawmakers to stop dancing around the issue and finally listen to the state’s leader as well as their constituents and pass comprehensive smokefree air legislation this year.” Read the rest of this entry »





House Bill 4099 – The New Smoking Ban Bill

26 01 2009

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.





Harrison Roadhouse Goes Smoke Free

1 01 2009

Saw this story on WLNS’ noon show today. 

An East Lansing restaurant is making it’s New Year’s resolution very public… it’s going *smoke free.*

The Harrison Roadhouse will officially make the move Thursday.

Just in time for it’s New Year’s day Bowl party for Michigan State University.

The operations manager says he’s been an opponent of the statewide smoking ban for a number of years and adds at this time…there’s enough people in the East Lansing area that want smoke-free dining.

All I can say is good for them.  We ate at Harrison Roadhouse back in the spring (review HERE) and really liked the place.  Going smoke free makes a second visit even more appealing.





Press Release – “Michigan Legislature Delivers Lump of Coal”

19 12 2008

From a Campaign for Smoke Free Michigan press release –

Michigan Legislature delivers lump of coal – no smokefree air for state residents
CSA frustrated with disregard for public health

Lansing, Mich. – Unable to work on a final compromise for smokefree air in Michigan, the state Legislature wrapped up Lame Duck this week and left the legislation to die.

Since both the House and Senate had passed different versions of House Bill 4163, the bill was sent to a conference committee to work out the differences. (The House had passed a version with exemptions in 2007; the Senate passed a version with no exemptions earlier this year). But leadership from each chamber was unable to work together on a final bill, and have left Lansing for the year.

“In the end, political gamesmanship is the only winner here,” said Susan Schechter, spokesperson for CSA and director of advocacy for the American Lung Association of Michigan. “Michigan workers are holding their breathe waiting for this law to pass. The leaders of these chambers know the public wants smokefree air, they have seen the science and economic numbers behind the movement, but instead they are listening to the dollars from Big Tobacco, casino and restaurant industries that flow into their campaign coffers.

“We have worked hard to educate lawmakers on the benefits of going smokefree and despite Michigan residents’ support on this issue, a select few legislators have chose to disregarded the public’s health and kill the bill. It’s an utter shame and a waste of time and money to start over this legislative process again in 2009, but that’s exactly what we have to do.”

Schecter did thank Reps. Brenda Clack, D-Flint, Andy Meisner, D-Ferndale and Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell and Sens. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, Alan Sanborn, R-Richmond and Alan Cropsey, R-DeWitt for their hard work and dedication to smokefree legislation during the conference committee.

Currently, more than half of Americans live in a city or state with smokefree workplace protection laws (34 states have smokefree workplace laws in effect). Gov. Jennifer Granholm has called on legislators to pass statewide smokefree legislation and vowed to sign the bill if it crossed her desk. CSA plans to continue to fight for smokefree air in 2009.