Apr 24, 2009

Workplace smoking bill is back on track

LANSING -- Despite House and Senate leaders saying earlier this month they would not address the workplace smoking ban, the House Regulatory Reform Committee is holding a hearing on the ban on Wednesday.

House Bill 4377, introduced by Rep. Rep. Lee Gonzales, D-Flint, is on the committee’s agenda that will meet at noon on April 29 in room 326 of the House Office Building in Lansing, and the meeting is open to the public. The bill, unfortunately, has exceptions for so-called "cigar bars" and casinos, but it’s a start. The committee is expected to actually take a vote on the bill.

Obviously, the pressure from the two-thirds of Michigan residents who support the ban got the bill untracked. This is the fourth hearing on the ban this session, and the last one was held on April 1.


kevins said...

Gonzales must not have any relatives who work in casinos. Either that, or he doesn't care much for his relatives.

Face it, you have to admit that this entire ban is nothing more than political theater from all sides. Otherwise, the only other conclusion is that Democrats are willing to let casino workers die in order to protect casino profits.

I don't believe they are they craven.

Anonymous said...

After over a year of experience here in Chicago, now that the fanfare has worn off and the lobbyists have moved on to other states, it's clearly obvious that trying to ban smoking in small neighborhood "shot and beer" bars is pretty useless. Many small bars in my area ignore the ban to keep their customers, neighbors, and local police (many are patrons when off duty) satisfied. In areas where real crime is an issue, the problem of undesirables being attracted by groups of people outside the bars and causing disturbances on the PUBLIC street, property that the owner has no control over, far outweighs the issue of people peacefully smoking inside a bar, bothering absolutly no one, All of the complaints are from neighbors of bars that comply. It's fading into history in many small neighborhood bars. The only places it becomes an issue seems to be in rural areas where local police have little to do except visit local bars and monitor their parking lots, and the larger "company" bars downtown with a high turnover of patrons.

Communications guru said...

What does than mean, “Gonzales must not have any relatives who work in casinos?”

“Political theater from all sides?” Nothing could be farther from the truth. This is a deadly serious issue. But you are right, it is a nonpartisan issue.

Like I have said about 100 times, Detroit Democrats are under the mistaken belief that they are saving jobs. You obviously did not pay attention to the hearings on the bill. You can still read about it on the blog. The casino managers came in and talked about their multi-million dollar ventilation systems.

My position is pretty clear, and I have stated it numerous times, but I will do it one more time:
I support a total workplace smoking ban with no exceptions. However, I will accept a ban with exceptions until we can get a total ban in place after and it’s proven what 35 other states already know: a workplace smoking ban will not hurt sales, and in some cases it will increase it. What I don’t support is an all or nothing situation.

Communications guru said...

You or somebody else posted this exact same comment word for word on another thread. I want to know how less than a quarter of the population who still smokes control so much money and have such a huge economic effect. And you are wrong, they are bothering absolutely someone; the almost 80 percent of the population that does not poison their lungs.

I’m not buying your story.

Anonymous said...

If it's bothering anyone, why would anyone be there???? There are bars that comply nearby.

Communications guru said...

First, it’s the law, so they should all comply. Second, why should the majority have to bend to the minority? After all, the majority’s actions are not harming the health of innocence bystanders. The minority can’t say that. What about the people who work there? In this economy a job is a precious thing sometimes, and why do they have to make a choice between their health and a paycheck?

Anonymous said...

Illinois is a good place to "study". As can be clearly seen by those of us living near the state line over the last year, Illinois smokers have been giving the casinos, bars, and restaurants in surrounding states their full support and blessing with their feet and their money. Had the antis done the same as Illinois smokers have done by supporting the non smoking Illinois casinos (down over 20 percent), restaurants, and bars instead of ranting and raving, people might pay attention to them. As it stands, claims about bans not hurting businesses are falling on a lot of deaf ears. They need to put their money where their mouth is. The lobbyists are losing credibility everywhere they travel with their exaggerted claims.

Communications guru said...

Show me one reliable study that shows business will be hurt by a smoking ban. Then explain to me how less than 25 percent of the population can have that much effect on a bar and restaurant’s business.

Here’s a report that turned the tide in Michigan and finally cleared the way for a vote in the Senate called “Smokefree workplaces: The Impact of House Bill 4163 on the Restaurant and Bar Industry in Michigan.”

Here is a study by Indiana University Center for Health Policy - that borders Illinois - called “The Economic Impact of Smoke-free Policies on Business and Health” debunks the myth that a smoking ban will cause a drop in business and job losses.

The 20 or so percent of people who still smoke may cross the border to go to a bar that allows smoking, but when Indiana and Wisconsin go smoke free that small percentage will be taken care of.