Lawmakers banned from Michigan bars - WNEM TV 5

Lawmakers banned from Michigan bars

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In an act of solidarity, Michigan bar and restaurant owners have banned state lawmakers from their property.

Effective September 1, the group Private Property Rights in Michigan said in a release Monday that lawmakers will be persona non grata in over 500 Michigan licensed establishments, across the state.

PPRM said it believes, however, even more will take part.

The group says bar owners and workers have grown frustrated with the Ron Davis law; also known as the private property tobacco use ban. PPRM claims the ban has collectively cost the state an estimated $200 million dollars in lost revenue through losses in jobs, taxes, business closings and to the state lottery.

Bar owners and workers say they have pleaded with lawmakers to act--however, lawmakers took no action prior to their two month vacation.

In the Monday news release, PPRM claims the pharmaceutical industry has funded the campaign to outlaw tabaco use on private property. One state has reversed its decision to outlaw smoking in bars and restaurants -- Nevada. The State of Nevada returned to that state's bars and tavern owners the right to decide their individual business models, due to the economic cost involved and what lawmakers in that state viewed at bar owner's rights.

In Michigan, bar owners have said that despite there being a large number of lawmakers supporting them, that they, the owners, must provide a 'level playing field', and are forced to prohibit all lawmakers from their establishments.

PPRM said that exceptions were made to the ban. The Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the House and Senate majority and minority leaders will be exempted from the ban. No explanation was offered for these exemptions.

Bars will be posting signs on their entrances, and providing workers photographs of lawmakers to identify them should they, the lawmakers, choose to ignore the ban. Owners have indicated they will have lawmakers charged with trespassing on private property under MCL Sec. 750.552. One Alpena bar owners said, "politicians will learn pretty quick that our bars are private property [if they choose to ignore the ban and enter]."

Over the past month, PPPRM said it has received over 1,000 individual letters from Michigan bar workers and hospitality support industry workers opposed to the law. Those letters will be delivered to lawmakers when they return to work, the group said.

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