HB 5140, a bill to allow a transfer of an escrowed Specially Designated Distributor (SDD – off premise) liquor license to any municipality within the county in which the SDD license was located, passed the full senate yesterday. As introduced, the transfer would require local approval before it could occur. However, that local approval language was stripped during the Senate Regulatory Reform committee yesterday afternoon and then passed through the entire Senate and concurred with by the House yesterday afternoon/evening. The actual bill was never posted on the committee agenda and there was no communication with the League that this would be coming up for discussion.
Currently, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission does not require local approval for a new SDD license or for the transfer of ownership of an SDD license.
Additionally, language was added in saying that prior to a new SDD license being issued, the applicant must state they attempted to secure an escrowed SDD license within the county and that one was not readily available.
As this law is implemented and you experience this in your community, please contact me with any issues you encounter so that I can be communicating any problems our local municipalities are facing because of this to legislators and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.
Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues. She can be reached at email@example.com or 517-908-0305.