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.
In this debate, Paul Goldman makes a few key points on ABC privatization that absolutely blow the idea out of the water: 1) it won't raise nearly as much revenue as the $250 million Virginia gets now; 2) this won't help transportation, as Bob McDonnell claims; 3) this will create "an oligopoly in the wholesale business" - very valuable licenses for some very politically connected people" - and actually hurt the free market for alcoholic beverages in Virginia. In response, Norm Leahy basically says we don't know the details of Bob McDonnell's proposal yet, so we don't know if Paul Goldman's claims are correct. Well, mayyyyyybe, but that raises an important question: after debating McDonnell's proposal for about a year now, why don't we know the details yet? What's Bob McDonnell hiding exactly? Very curious.