May 20, 2009

Smoking bill passed put of committee

LANSING -- The House Regulatory Reform Committee reported out House Bill 4177 Wednesday that bars smoking in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants.

The bill exempts so-called cigar bars and casinos. After an entire month of testimony and two starts and stops, the Committee reported the bill out to the full House floor in less than two minutes. It’s unclear exactly what the substitute the committee approved looks like, but Chair Bert Johnson said there may be more exceptions when the bill is on the House floor. That could come as early as today or Thursday.

It’s unclear what the Senate will do. The smoking ban died last session because the Senate conferees refused to compromise on the version they passed that had no exceptions.

The vote was near unanimous, and only Rep. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, voted no, and Rep. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, passed.

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