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Sen. George urges vote on smoking ban

Publication Date: 2009-06-17
  • Author:Sen. George urges vote on smoking ban Kalamazoo Gazette - - 1 hour ago
  • Publication:Kalamazoo Gazette

To Republican state Sen. Tom George's chagrin, the Republican-controlled Senate has yet to move on the workplace-smoking-ban bill that the Democrat-controlled Michigan House passed in late May.

George, a candidate for governor who is eager to vote in favor of a ban, said it is the most common issue that people raise when they speak with him.

"I've been trying to let my leadership know that this is something that my constituency largely wants. I'm eager to vote on it, and I hope we deal with it soon," said George, whose 20th District covers Kalamazoo County as well as Paw Paw and Antwerp townships in Van Buren County.

In a 73-31 vote on May 26, the Michigan House passed a bill that calls for prohibiting smoking in most workplaces. Detroit's casinos, some smoke shops and tobacco specialty retailers would be exempt from the ban in the House bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, who controls the Senate schedule, has said he only supports a smoking ban that includes all businesses.

But that's not what's keeping the bill from moving forward, said Matt Marsden, Bishop's spokesman.

"Right now the focus is this budget," Marsden said.