Tuesday, March 4, 2008

AB 834 passes committee, 6-3

After a blowout hearing in support of smoke-free air last week, the Assembly Public Health Committee approved AB 834 without changes on a 6-3 vote.

Now both bills are at the same point in the legislative process: awaiting a vote on the floor of the Assembly or Senate.

Vote Count:
Rep. Hines
Rep. Moulton
Rep. Benedict
Rep. Wasserman
Rep. Schneider
Rep. Black

Rep. Vukmir
Rep. Ballweg
Rep. Nerison


Anonymous said...

Yes! When will we know or when will this be scheduled for a vote on the floor???

Greg said...

Could someone explain to me why someone on the HEALTH committee would vote NO to advance this bill?

Liz @ SmokeFree Wisconsin said...

There is a committee in the Assembly called the Rules Committee that is responsible for scheduling all bills for floor action. You can view committee members and the bills that are currently awaiting scheduling here. If your representative sits on this committee, please let him or her know you want AB 834 scheduled for floor action as soon as possible! There may be only 2 days of floor session left before the Legislature is done for the year, so it is very important that Assembly leaders act quickly and schedule the Breathe Free Wisconsin Act for a vote.

We've learned from the Senate (where SB 150 has been awaiting scheduling for two months) that it is very difficult to get a bill scheduled for a vote if the leadership in that house of the Legislature doesn't want the bill to pass. It's critical that voters who support the Breathe Free Wisconsin Act let their elected officials know they want a vote on this bill before the legislative session ends.

Liz @ SmokeFree Wisconsin said...

Greg - I'm as troubled as you are by representatives who are supposed to evaluate the public health merits of legislation (in the Public Health Committee) who voted no yesterday.

Here are the words of Rep. Leah Vukmir, the committee's vice-chair, on why she voted no: "While I find it admirable that Lance Armstrong inspires people with his 'Live Strong' motto, I prefer to live free."
I always take special notice of Rep. Vukmir's comments because she's from my hometown, Wauwatosa. I think Rep. Vukmir is really off base here, and definitely out of touch with Tosans, who already have a smoke-free ordinance in place. "Living free," to me, means being able to go to work and not have to worry about your health being damaged by the air you're breathing in. "Living free" means not having to leave a night out with friends because the bar or bowling alley you went to still allows secondhand smoke to contaminate the indoor air. "Living free" means living disease-free - secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, heart disease, exacerbates asthma, and aggravates a whole host of other health issues - yet exposure to secondhand smoke is completely preventable and should be prevented.

Greg said...

I guess my problem with the NO votes in the Committee is this: Are these people voting No because they disbelieve the health data or because of personal reasons, like "living free" and giving tobacco growers "time to find another cash crop" ( very funny by the way)...

Isn't their duty on the Committee to evaluate various bills that come before them based on the HEALTH merits?

If they want to vote against the bill in the open session, then that's their right, but in Committee they need to do their job and be objective.

Anonymous said...

Where do all of you people live that there are smokers all around you? People that concerned about health don't strike me as frequent bar patrons. That's about the only place I know of where people still smoke. If a bar owner is so concerned about smoking, why not go smoke free? There are non-smoking bars in Milwaukee that do quite well. This is not NAZI Germany (Adolf Hitler didn't like smoking and banned it in a lot of public places). Smoking is a choice much like entering a bar, making a bar smoke free is a choice. If bar owners want a smoke-free bar, they can have one. You people need to get a life and worry about more important things, 99.9% of places are smoke-free. I just wonder once a ban passes what you people will focus on next.