Houses passes Rep. VanderWall’s beer and wine carry-out bill.

May 30, 2018

State Rep. Curt VanderWall, of Ludington, speaks this week before the House Law and Justice Committee in support of his legislation to expand employment opportunities at adult foster or senior care facilities.

Houses passes Rep. VanderWall’s beer and wine carry-out bill.

LANSING — The Michigan House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a plan Tuesday, May 29, introduced by 101st District Rep. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) that allows carry-out beer and wine (specially designated merchant) licenses to be issued in towns with populations below 1,000 people.

Current law allows for the issuance of one license to sell beer and wine for every 1,000 people living in that town. VanderWall said many communities in rural areas of the state don’t reach that population threshold and cannot obtain a Specially Designated Merchant License. There are communities in almost every county that currently do not qualify for a beer and wine retail license, which is a detriment to those towns looking to add retail options for their residents.  Currently there are 45 municipalities in the 101st District that have been eliminated because of their size to add a carry out beer and wine business because of how current law is written. The 101st District includes Mason, Manistee, Benzie, and Leelanau counties.

“This limit is completely arbitrary and unnecessarily bans applicants from small towns from applying for and being issued a license to sell beer and wine, such as at a grocery store,” VanderWall said. “As small towns across Michigan work to grow their downtowns and create jobs, current law ties the hands and takes tools out of the economic development toolbox.  Approval of my legislation will remedy a situation our small towns are facing as they try and provide retail options for local residents.   

The measure passed 103-5. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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