Jan 22, 2009

The fight for healthy lungs begins anew with introduction of workplace smoking ban

LANSING -- The fight to enact a workplace smoking ban, including bars and restaurants, in the 95th Legislative session began Thursday when freshman Rep. Paul Scott, R-Grand Blanc, introduced House Bill 4099.

It was a short session that saw little more than the introduction of bills with just a few lawmakers present, and 119 bills were introduced at the end of the session by the House Clerk. The bill has bipartisan support with both Democratic and Republican co-sponsors; Reps. Alma Wheeler Smith, D-South Lyon, Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, and Rebekah Warren, D-Warren, and Republican Reps. James Marleau, R-Lake Orion, Richard Ball, R- Bennington Twp., Matt Lori, R-Constantine, and Kevin Daley, R-Arcadia Township.

The bill was referred to the Commerce Committee instead of the more appropriate Health Policy Committee, but that was where it was approved out of during the last session. The chair of that committee, Rep. Andy Meisner, D-Ferndale, was term-limited. The make up of the House standing Committees have not been announced.

Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, who has championed the workplace smoking ban for the past 10 years, is expected to introduce the Senate version as early as next week.

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