New businesses will now have the option of purchasing a conditional liquor license to allow the sale of alcohol temporarily while the state reviews its permanent documentation.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, was approved this week by the House Regulatory Reform Committee. It would create a $300 permit separate from the full liquor license application from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.
"The slow wheels of government can be an obstacle for businesses trying to get underway, and since more entrepreneurs and jobs are what Michigan needs to continue its economic growth, this compromise to reduce the red tape is the right step for our state," said Franz.
The MLCC would have 20 business days to consider a conditional license application, which would include proof of a liquor liability insurance policy and an executed property document. The license would expire after one year, or after the business is granted a full liquor license.
The decision to transfer or approve a liquor license can take six to eight months, during while time the original owner continues to be liable for violations or infractions.
Rep. Franz says he has first hand experience with the frustrations of waiting for the approval of a liqour license from his grocery store business.
"That was a tough time made even more difficult because we were prohibited from selling products people expected us to have," Franz said. "It's an unnecessary thing to have to go through when a business owner has so many other concerns to keep the lights on and the door open. This is a government reform that just makes sense all the way around."
The legislation will now be sent to the full House for consideration.