Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Senate Republican Obstruction Update

Couple of things to mention. First of all, fresh from the AP, Republicans most likely have killed the smoking ban legislation.

Efforts to ban smoking in Michigan bars, restaurants and other workplaces have hit a road block in the state Senate.

Republicans sent the smoking ban measure to a committee where many bills go to die. Democrats tried to steer it to the health policy committee instead because the committee's Republican chairman supports the ban.

Democrats on Tuesday accused the GOP majority of ignoring a U.S. surgeon general report that says breathing any amount of secondhand smoke harms nonsmokers.

Take note of the words "many bills" and stop and think about the meaning of the word "obstruction". Everyone get the picture?

And, about the drug company immunity legislation? According to Wayne Kuipers in last night's Gongwer, you can forget about that, too.

As opponents to Michigan's 1996 law granting broad-based immunity to drug manufacturers continue efforts to win passage of HB 4044, HB 4045 and HB 4046 in the Senate, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Monday he did not see "any conditions right now" under which he would hold hearings on the bills.

Sen. Wayne Kuipers (R-Holland) said that state residents claiming damages from the use of Merck's now removed drug Vioxx have been able to get access to claims through class-action cases in New Jersey, Merck's home state.

Just go out of state, say the Republicans. Sorry if that is inconvenient for you, but, hey, we just don't give a damn.