There is a mistaken impression about my opposition to privatizing the ABC stores. What I oppose is killing the Golden Goose without first harvesting the fertile eggs that will replenish the revenue flow. In the spirit of bipartisanship, I offer up a Republican goose egg that may tip the scales.
Michigan state Representative Hugh Crawford (R-38th) sponsored a bill that went into effect just yesterday allowing the licensing of not more than 20 “nonpublic continuing care retirement centers.” The $600 fee allows a licensed retirement center to sell and serve beer, wine, and spirits to residents and their guests for on-premises consumption.
Fiscal Impact: Assuming that 20 new licenses authorized by the bill were issued, revenue of approximately $12,000 annually would be available for distribution, increasing revenue to the LCC by an estimated $5,000, increasing liquor law enforcement grants by $6,600, and increasing State revenue to the Department of Community Health for alcoholism treatment by $400.
Crawford, a long term Oakland County political figure whose wife retired after a 25-year tenure as Novi Senior Services Director, was elected to his second legislative term in November. This is a fellow’s alcohol positions are a mixed bag, though, and may not fully be on board with privatization of the alcohol sales. He voted against allowing out-of-state shipment of wine and beer to Michigan households, maintaining a “wholesaler monopoly.” But he buttressed his free market bona fides by supporting an initiative to create “local right-to-work zones” in Michigan.