Proos co-sponsors bill to expand the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council

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LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos has co-sponsored new legislation that would expand the makeup of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council — including a new name — to include the growing Michigan beer industry that already helps support it.

“The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council operates using the non-retailer liquor license and renewal fees to support Michigan agriculture and agribusiness,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Microbreweries, small distillers, and brewpubs currently pay these fees, yet they have no representation on the council. This bill would ensure that everyone who helps fund the council has a seat at the table.”

Senate Bill 671 would change the name of the council to the “Grape, Wine, Brewing and Distilling Industries Council,” and council membership would be expanded from 12 to 16.

New members would include a brewer, a hops or barley grower, a distiller, and a food retailer who sells Michigan beer or a restaurant operator who serves Michigan beer or spirits.

“I co-sponsored this initiative to ensure equal representation and membership on this important council,” Proos said. “It will be a boost for the entire industry and to all Michigan agriculture. It would also ensure that everyone financially supporting the council is eligible for industry support, such as research, promotion and financial aid to growers.”

SB 671 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.