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VanderWall bill would allow bars, breweries to donate beverage sale profits to charities

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Curt VanderWall on Tuesday introduced legislation to allow bars, breweries, and other liquor license holders to donate a percentage of beverage sale profits to nonprofit charities.

“Currently, there is a lot of confusion among bar and brewery owners about what kinds of charitable donations they can and cannot make based on their sales — this bill would work to simplify the process,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “More than that, my bill would allow them to advertise for these fundraisers without confusion or fear of a Michigan Liquor Control Commission violation. Many of our favorite establishments simply abstain from giving to charities at all because of so much confusion around the rules.”

VanderWall said he’s heard recently from liquor license holders who have wanted to host fundraising events to benefit Ukrainians suffering from Russia’s invasion of their country but have not done so because of their confusion regarding the state’s liquor laws and charitable giving.

“It’s not just about the current state of global affairs,” VanderWall said. “There are always opportunities to help those in need abroad, nationally, and within our own local communities. We should be encouraging our local business owners and their neighbors who want to give to worthy non-profit organizations, not hindering them.”

Senate Bill 1004 has been referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform.