Mar 24, 2009
Second public hearing on workplace smoking ban on tap as tobacco company picks up lobbying effort
LANSING – The House Regulatory Reform Committee will take up the workplace smoking ban again at noon on Wednesday.
The second public hearing will be held at noon March 26 in room 326 of the House Office Building. The committee took testimony on the workplace smoking ban in front of a standing room only crowd last Wednesday. The committee is coming off a field trip on Friday where they visited some venues supposedly affected by the smoking ban, that includes bars and restaurants.
The committee visited the Greektown Casino, Detroit dance Club Intus, the MGM Casino and the Henry Ford Hospital. I don’t understand why thy visited two casinos, let alone one. It was the exception to Detroit casinos that killed the bill last year. The House passed a version that excluded casinos and the Senate approved a clean bill, and the conference committee could not or refused to reach a compromise.
The tobacco companies and the casinos are stepping up lobbying efforts as the ban progressed farther than it ever had last year in the 10 years it has been proposed. According to a report just released by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was the top-spending corporate lobbyist in 2008 in Michigan at $470,832. The amount is 17 times more than Reynolds American spent on lobbying in Michigan in 2006.