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Wed November 11, 2009
MI smoking ban advocates push for action
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – Advocates seeking a statewide ban on smoking in workplaces are growing impatient with Senate inaction on the question. They are still hoping to enact a workplace smoking ban before the end of this year.
The Senate has been sitting on the ban for five and a half months. The measure would outlaw smoking in taverns, restaurants, offices, and factories with exceptions only for cigar bars and Detroit's three casinos.
Representative Joan Bauer chairs the group of roughly 40 lawmakers pushing for a smoking ban.
"We are encouraging the Senate to act," she says. "If they don't like the bill we sent them, we could send them others."
Bauer says she hopes that would turn up the pressure on the Senate to adopt a ban.
The Senate Republican majority is split on the state ordering private businesses to ban smoking. But Senate leaders say if there is a ban, it should apply to every workplace without exception.
Governor Granholm says she will sign whatever version of a smoking ban reaches her desk.