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News Summary

Michigan lawmakers discuss differences on public smoking ban

Publication Date: 12/16/2008
  • Publication:Detroit Free Press

Lawmakers trying to reach a compromise to ban smoking in public places adjourned until Wednesday, as negotiations continued today.

A House and Senate conference committee met briefly to air out differences between the two chambers. A Senate-approved bill would ban smoking in all public places with no exceptions, while a House version would allow exemptions to the ban for Detroit's three casinos, horse race tracks, bingo halls and cigar shops.

Committee chairperson Rep. Brenda Clack, D-Flint, said she believed a deal would be struck in time for the full Legislature to vote on it Thursday. She said the six-member committee would probably meet again Wednesday morning.

"I'm totally optimistic," Clack said. "There was at least in the conversation a willingness to yield some and to reach an agreement, one way or the other. I think there will be an agreement both sides can live with."

Clack, who sponsored the House bill, has said she is open to allowing exemptions if that's what it takes to get a smoking ban passed.