Senate panel OKs Jones bill to clarify veterans club law

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Regulatory Reform Committee on Wednesday approved Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation that would allow a veterans club to sell beer to members of different chapters of the same organization.

The Liquor Control Commission (LCC) recently 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 purchase a beer. The LCC had been interpreting the law differently than current club practices.

“This legislation will ensure that Michigan veterans can visit nonprofit veterans clubs across the state, purchase a beer and spend time with those who have served our nation,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Our veterans have made tremendous sacrifices for our nation. At the very least, they have earned the ability to visit a fellow veteran in another town and to order a beer at their veterans club.”

Senate Bill 662 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 from across the state of the same organization. The bill has 33 co-sponsors.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the Michigan House by Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville, who is an Iraq War veteran.

SB 662 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.