House panel OKs bills to clarify veterans club law

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The House Regulatory Reform Committee on Wednesday approved bills sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones and Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville, to allow a veterans club to sell beer to members of different chapters of the same organization.

Last year, the Liquor Control Commission (LCC) told a Veterans of Foreign Wars club that they could not sell beer to visiting members from other VFW clubs.

For decades, the American Legion, VFW, Eagles, Moose, and Knights of Columbus clubs allowed visiting members of another club within the same organization to purchase a beer. The LCC had been interpreting the law differently than current club practices.

“This legislation would establish traveling memberships for these organizations and is supported by the Liquor Control Commission and nonprofit veterans and fraternal groups,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Our veterans have made tremendous sacrifices for our nation. This reform would ensure that Michigan veterans could visit their fellow veterans in another town and purchase a beer at the local veterans club.”

Senate Bill 662 and House Bill 5260 would allow a local club of a nonprofit veterans or fraternal organization that is currently allowed to sell alcohol to its members to be able serve alcohol to members of different branches or chapters of the same organization from across the state.

The Senate unanimously approved SB 662 in January. Both SB 662 and HB 5260 now head to the full House of Representatives for consideration.