Industry group reacts to ‘drinks-to-go’ bill passage

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 12:58 PM EDT
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The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association is looking forward to Governor Gretchen Whitmer signs a group of bills into law soon, the industry group said in a Thursday news release.

The bill package was passed to Whitmer’s desk by the Legislature after being passed Wednesday and gives businesses with liquor licenses help in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“The MLBA, in partnership with other industry groups, tried to follow the lead of other states that allowed drinks to go, as well as other helpful changes, when the COVID-19 pandemic first shut down bars and restaurants,” MLBA Executive Director Scott Ellis said in the release. “However, we were not able to come to a compromise on simple solutions, so we refocused on getting some long-term changes through legislatively.”

The package allows people to order cocktails for pickup or delivery from Michigan bars and restaurants through 2025.

The bills also include a temporary cut in state liquor prices to help businesses hurting during the coronavirus pandemic.

The state already lets bars and restaurants sell unopened beer and wine to go.

The package also would let local governments designate “social districts” where people could drink alcohol outside.

“We have worked with the Governor and hope she will sign this package of bills as early as next week,” Ellis said.

Copyright Associated Press and WILX. All rights reserved.

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