MI lawmakers edge closer to possible smoking ban

A statewide smoking ban that has stalled for years in the Legislature could be in place by Christmas.

Although nothing is scheduled yet, a Senate committee this week could take up a bill that would ban smoking in all work places. The ban would include all restaurants and bars, but could exempt casino floors and cigar bars.

Republican Sen. Ron Jelinek of Three Oaks is hoping to push through a compromise soon.

He thinks "most legislators want to get it done."

Opponents want the decision left up to individual business owners. Lance Binoniemi of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association says if a ban is passed, it shouldn't have exceptions that "pick winners and losers."

Advocates have been pushing for a Michigan ban for more than a decade.