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News Summary

Support Building for State to 'Butt Out' of Outdoor Restaurants' Smoking Policies

Publication Date: 12/2/2013
  • Author: Beth Dalbey
  • Publication:Macomb Township Patch.com

Smokers may be able to light up on outdoor restaurant patios and sidewalk cafes if a bipartisan group of legislators have their say.

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, to repeal the provision of Michigan's restaurant smoking ban that pertains to restaurants' outdoor facilities, the Detroit Free Press reports.

McMillin, who plans to run for the state Senate, said he's heard from a number of bar and restaurant owners who regard the ban "as blatant over-regulation and usurping the rights of business owners to make their own rules on their own property."...

The proposal would apply to outdoor facilities that are less than 50 percent enclosed and, if approved, would give restaurants the discretion to their patrons to light up.

McMillin and his supporters are joined by Rod Lockwood, the wealthy developer from Birmingham who gained notoriety early last year when he proposed buying Belle Island for 41 billion and turning it into a separate state with no taxes, reportedly said that the ban burdens small business owners with excessive regulations.

The proposed legislation has left supporters of the Michigan Smoke-Free Air Law, which passed in 2009, fuming....