Michigan Restaurant Association calls conditional liquor license bill ‘great step’


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The state's House Regulatory Reform Committee passed legislation Tuesday, HB 4277, that would create a “conditional” or temporary liquor license for applicants of on- and off-premises establishments — while a full background investigation is conducted by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

Justin Winslow, a vice president of the Michigan Restaurant Association, said HB 4277 “is a great step in the direction of a more streamlined licensing process for restaurateurs.”

HB 4277 now moves to the full House of Representatives.

“This bill creates the much-needed certainty for an owner to open his or her doors, start creating jobs, and start generating revenue without the all-too-common fear that their liquor license will be held up for an unknown period,” Winslow said. “In most instances, that is several months, and on occasion the wait can extend longer than a year.”

Some highlights of HB 4277 include:

  • A conditional license costs $300
  • The bill would require the applicant to file a separate form requesting a conditional license. A conditional license is not automatic for all full license applicants
  • Conditional license applicants must show proof of financial responsibility such as a liquor liability insurance policy as well as an executed property document
  • MLCC would be required to conduct a criminal background check for prior arrests
  • The bill would limit conditional licenses to transfers of licenses to same location so as not to violate state statute requiring all licensed establishments to be 500 feet from a church or school
  • The transferring license goes into escrow during the review process and the original owner has the option to reclaim the license out of escrow, or leave it in escrow if the purchasing applicant is subsequently denied
  • MLCC must issue a conditional license within 20 business days of receiving a completed receipt, or 30 business days if the applicant is requesting multiple locations
  • The conditional license would expire after one year, or when the applicant receives or is denied a full license.

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