Dec 14, 2008

Conference Committee meeting for indoor smoking ban may not happen


Although there is still hope that nonsmokers in Michigan will be protected from deadly secondhand smoke with a workplace smoking ban, the prospects of that happening any time soon are getting dimmer after the Chair of the Conference Committee formed o work out the differences between the Senate passed version of House Bill 4163 and the House passed version canceled the a meeting of the committee set for Monday morning.

The meeting has been tentatively rescheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, December 16 in Room 424 of the State Capitol in Lansing, but the rumor in Lansing is it will be rolled to Wednesday or Thursday, the last session day before all bills not passed die. Schedule changes or cancellations for this and all committee meetings is available 24-hours a day at (517) 373-8140.

Columnist Peter Luke has an excellent column on the hypocrisy of Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop assigning the two most conservative Senators in the Senate who voted no on the bill to the conference committee.

The many supporters of the workplace smoking ban, that includes bars and restaurants, have been flooding legislative offices with phone calls, emails and letters urging their representatives to do the right thing. Here’s some contact information to keep the pressure up.

Senator Mike Bishop
(517) 373-2417 or (877) 924-7467
senmbishop@senate.mi.gov

Senator Alan Cropsey
(517) 373-3760 or (866) 305-2133
senacropsey@senate.mi.gov

Senator Alan Sanborn
(517) 373-7670 or (888) 353-2526
senasanborn@senate.mi.gov

Representative Dave Hildenbrand
Phone: (517) 373-0846 or (877) 328-3086
rephildenbrand@house.mi.gov

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ya right. Most of the average people I talk to say restaurants? Ok if the owner wants it, which many do anyway. Why is a ban even needed? Neighborhood bars and veterans clubs, NO WAY

Anonymous said...

The lawmakers can get lessons on passing draconian bans from Governor Blagovich in Illinois. He's the expert. His methods will be learned in the near future.

Anonymous said...

You conveniently bypass the part of Luke's column where he points out how Democrats could have had the ban...but bailed because the House removed the exemption for casinos.

Paint it anyway you want, but if it really is a health issues, your beloved Dems sold out the restaurant employees. I hope they enjoy their payoff from the casinos.

Communications guru said...

“Most of the average people” you talk to say restaurants what?

A ban is needed because secondhand smoke causes disease and death, and there is no safe about of secondhand smoke. It’s a public health issue. Yes, patrons and employees in neighborhood bars and veterans clubs should be protected as well.

Communications guru said...

First, do you mean Blagojevic? You can look it up on the web for the correct spelling. And you’re the guy who called me out on my alleged misspellings and grammar mistakes? Second, the smoking ban in Illinois is not Draconian. Third, as I have said before, governors do not draft or pass laws; they only sign them into law. Fourth, what about the other 33 states that have smoking bans to protect their residents? Why can’t I ask them?

Communications guru said...

I guess I bypassed that part of his column because it’s completely incorrect.

It was the Senate that removed the exemption for casinos, not the House. Anyway, I don’t see what this has to do with any thing?

Yes, it really is a public health issue, and it also is not a partisan issue. Lawmakers from both parties vote both yes and no on the bill.

I guess I could also say I hope the Republicans enjoy their payoff from the tobacco companies.

Anonymous said...

Yes...the Senate removed the exemption for casinos, and then the Democrats in the House wouldn't vote for it. Had they voted for a ban that included casinos, you would have your precious law.

Communications guru said...

You are wrong again. This, once again, is not a partisan issue. Why are you insisting it is? The Democratic leadership, who controls the House, allowed a vote on the bill that had no exceptions. It only got 50 votes when it needed to get a majority of those serving. A majority of 110 is 56. So, to say “the Democrats in the House wouldn't vote for it” is simply not true.

Anonymous said...

Democrats could have passed it. You know it's a fact. Read Detroit News column today by Laura Berman...for those who favor a smoking ban, she rightly puts the blame where it belongs.

Of course, you will only "believe" the part that blames Republicans and you will ignore or dismiss her criticism of Democrats. Just like you did with Luke's column.

You are such a partisan hack. You can't see that you are cut from the same cloth as Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. It's just that you are a Democrat windbag rather than a GOP windbag.

Not Anonymous said...

This guy is nowhere near a Limbaugh or Hannity. He doesn't have the audience, nor even the common sense.

Oh and the correct spelling of the Illinois Governor is Blagojevich. It would be nice if a guy that claims to be a writer could at least spell correctly.

Not Anonymous said...

This guy is nowhere near a Limbaugh or Hannity. He doesn't have the audience, nor even the common sense.

Oh and the correct spelling of the Illinois Governor is Blagojevich. It would be nice if a guy that claims to be a writer could at least spell correctly.

Anonymous said...

Good point "not." If it wasn't for posters like us, I wonder if anyone comes to this site.

I do it for amusement. It's more fun than Family Guy.

Communications guru said...

I’m not like limpdick or haity because I’m not a hate-filled racist. What do you call a bill when members of both parties vote for it and against it? I call it nonpartisan; what do you call it, anonymous troll?

Communications guru said...

OOOh, I'm really wounded. I'm a former writer, and a good one. Thanks again for the compliment, anonymous troll.

Communications guru said...

Wow, talking to yourself again, anonymous troll. I'm really hurt by that. You can't possibly think you are the only person who reads this blog? Then go away troll, if you think you're the only reader. I'll survive fine.

Anonymous said...

It is of course a partisan issue, which you bring into play frequently when you want to bash the Republicans.

Since you are such a good writer, could you write the name of one restaurant or bar worker whose death has been attributed to second-hand smoke? Just one.

I, for one, strongly advocated stronger drunk driving laws...and I had the names of many innocent people who were killed by drunk drivers.

So, why don't you do the same? It would surely be a powerful argument.

Communications guru said...

Once again, what do you call an issue where both parties have voted on both sides of the issue? It's called a bipartisan issue.

I also do not know personally one person killed by a drunk driver, but I know it happens. Also, secondhand smoke does not kill instantly, and even you are smart enough to know that. I'm still waiting for you to show me the scientific evidence that shows me secondhand smoke is harmless.

Anonymous said...

You are the one who makes it a partisan issue by only hammering Republicans.

Why not ask people to contact Andy Dillon and urge him to support a complete smoking ban? Or are those casino owners more precious than the lives of their workers?

You just dodge the obvious. If indeed second-hand smoke threatens the lives of employees, Andy Dillon thinks that's a small price to pay in order to keep casinos happy.

That's Andy Dillon. Not Mike Bishop.

Why not critize Dillon for putting profits over people?

Communications guru said...

“Why not criticize Dillon for putting profits over people?” Because he allowed the committee to take testimony on the bill, allowed a vote on the smoking ban three times, voted for it himself and assigned people to the conference committee who voted for the bill and wanted to see it pass in some form. Bishop did the exact opposite.

Anonymous said...

For one thing, since you know so much about how Lansing works, you know full well that party leaders can schedule votes knowing that the vote will fail...they even count votes so that people who need to cast the "right" vote can do so without fear of the issue actually passing.

Brian Dickerson writes a fine column in the freep that puts blame for the ban's failure in both camps. He joins Laura Berman (Detroit News), Peter Luke (Booth Newspapers) and Chris Christoff (Detroit Free Press) as reporters/columnists who have all said the same thing. Odd how these trained journalists can be so wrong and only McBluster sees the truth.

I don't argue with you when you say Bishop killed the ban. But you dodge and purposely distort Dillon's role in the matter. Both Houses and both parties killed the ban...the Republicans, tired of the pressure of being labled anti-health, put a whole ban on the table and the Democratic House defeated it...because, by your own admission, the deaths of casino workers are a small price to pay for casino profits.

You say the Detroit Democrats who voted against the total ban were wrong about casinos losing business. But what if they were right? Why would that matter? What the Detroit Dems are saying is that profits trump worker lives. If Republicans took that position, they would be crucified. Since it was Democrats, you give them a pass. They were merely mistaken.

There is, of course, another explanation. Those voting against the total ban don't really believe the extent of the health claims.

I'm not sure which is the case, but one has to be true: Either they don't believe the danger is that grave, or they think it is okay to sacrifice lives for profits.

You are the same. This isn't about health. It's a chance for you to bash Republicans. Otherwise, you might mention the names and party of those 12 Detroit reps who voted against the total ban.

Communications guru said...

That’s not always the case. No one can know for sure 100 percent how a vote goes every single time. The Speaker thought he had a majority, and in fact he did; just not enough. Regardless, it was a good time to allow a vote, and it set it up for the conference committee. He should have known Bishop would not negotiate in good faith. He can be blamed fro that, and for his whips not rounding up enough votes.

I’m entitled to my opinion, and you certainly have not shown any facts or other information to show my opinion is off base. Again, please tell me what Dillon could have done more to get the ban passed? I also know this; without the pressure from advocates like me and thousands of others, the bill would have died in Bishop’s committee like it did every two years for the past 10 years. Different leader, same result. But the Senate Majority Leader before Bishop now supports the ban.

That is correct; the Detroit Democrats voting against the total ban are wrong. No, what I am saying and have said numerous times is that they took the short term view to save jobs over the long term view of health. So, somehow in your mind no worker or patron getting protection is better than casino workers waiting a few years for the ban to go into effect. I didn’t give Democrats a pass. Bishop did everything he could to kill this bill, and he succeed, You cannot deny that.

“Those voting against the total ban don't really believe the extent of the health claims? Then why did they vote for it? Yes, it is about pubic health, I have been advocating for this ban for more than a year. it’s not hard to verify that. Second, not all 12 Detroit Reps voted against the total ban, and you can find who voted for the ban yourself. You can easily find out for yourself, and I provided a link in the past.

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