Senate approves Jones bill to clarify veterans club law

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Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation that would allow a veterans club to sell beer to members of different chapters of the same organization.

Last year, the Liquor Control Commission (LCC) told a Veterans of Foreign Wars club that they could not sell beer to visiting members from other VFW clubs.

For decades, the American Legion, VFW, Eagles, Moose, and Knights of Columbus clubs allowed visiting members of another club within the same organization to purchase a beer. The LCC had been interpreting the law differently than current club practices.

“Many people join nonprofit veterans and fraternal groups to make a difference in their communities and to connect with their brothers and sisters who served our nation,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “This legislation will ensure that Michigan veterans can visit their fellow veterans in another town and purchase a beer at the local veterans club.”

Senate Bill 662 would allow a local club of a nonprofit veterans or fraternal organization that is currently allowed to sell alcohol to its members to be able serve alcohol to members of different branches or chapters from across the state of the same organization. The bill has 33 co-sponsors.

SB 662 now heads to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation has been introduced by Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville.