Michigan doesn't care about the workers and customers' health? Who said people are forced to work at or visit a smokey tavern anyway?
It's good news for Michigan. I dunno why it's bad news for antis. All they care about is smoke-free power. And some people in America are slowly starting to see the lies behind the antis' reasoning.
Oh yeah, if they so concerned about protecting the workers' health from SHS, would antis care about protecting the workers' safety frpm trouble? I'd think protecting workers from someone walking into a tavern with a gun and is looking to start a fight with someone is a lot more serious than SHS.
UPDATED AT 3:40 A.M.
LANSING -- There'll be no statewide ban on smoking in public places -- for now.
State lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a ban early this morning, leaving anti-smoking advocates bitterly disappointed and a new Legislature to grapple in 2009 with an issue that has wide public support.
The defeat left smoking ban proponents talking of a 2010 ballot proposal to accomplish it if lawmakers can't.
In a final, marathon lame duck session that began Thursday morning, the House and Senate could not overcome disagreements over whether to allow smoking in casinos and smoke shops.
It was a major fizzle among the passage of dozens of low-profile bills, as the Legislature wrapped up its 2007-08 session.
"It is a serious disappointment, it's another signal that Michigan doesn't quite get it, is not quite ready to step into the 21st Century," said Rep. Andy Meisner, D-Ferndale, a leading proponent for a smoking ban who acknowledged the issue was dead for this year.
"It sends an unfortunate message to the citizens of Michigan that we don't care about their health, and that there are interests in Lansing that have greater influence than they do."
Meisner said compromise proposals could have passed the House and Senate, but that Democratic and Republican leaders could not agree to allow those votes.
Some House Democrats, including Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township, wanted an exemption for Detroit's casinos, which complained that the ban would chase smoking gamblers elsewhere, mainly to Indian-run casinos where the state cannot ban smoking.
But majority Senate Republicans insisted that any smoking ban must include all establishments, no exceptions.
Advocates said a ban would protect employees in restaurants and elsewhere from the health dangers of second-hand smoke.
The proposed smoking ban's demise was good news to the Michigan Restaurant Association and others who lobbied against the bill as unnecessary government intrusion on private businesses. They argued that many restaurants have gone smoke-free on their own, as customers demand it.
Restaurant association president Rob Gifford said a ban with exemptions for casinos and other establishments such as horse race tracks would be especially unfair.
"If the Legislature is going to do it, do it in a way that treats all businesses equally," Gifford said.
Advocates say 33 other states ban smoking in public places to some degree. They cited numerous studies to argue that a ban would not affect business at bars and restaurants overall.
Meisner said a petition drive for a ballot issue to ban smoking is a possibility, although it would require significant fund-raising.