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Kathy Cahill: Schultz disregards health of Wisconsin citizens
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On Jan. 8, attending on my own time as a private citizen, I witnessed Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, disregard the health of his constituents when, as a member of the Senate Health Committee, he voted against SB 150, the statewide smoke-free workplace bill.

He says he is concerned about small bars going out of business. But when the five cities in Wisconsin, 23 states in the U.S., District of Columbia, 10 Canadian provinces and territories, and 18 countries have passed such legislation, their small bars did not go out of business. People just stopped smoking in them, making those previously smoky bars, bowling alleys and restaurants hospitable for all of the population, 78 percent of which do not smoke.

Fortunately, Sen. Schultz was outvoted and the smoke-free workplace bill was passed out of the Health Committee and will now move to the full Senate for discussion. After that it will move to the Assembly.

As the bill stands right now, all workplaces in Wisconsin, including bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, etc., will be smoke-free effective Jan. 1, 2010. Until then, 654 people will die of tobacco-related disease every day in Wisconsin. If that concerns you, it's important that you speak up to your legislators.