Hefty increase in beer tax proposed, criticized

Capital News Service
LANSING – Critics say that a recent proposal to increase the tax on beer is unlikely to get much support from businesses. The bill comes as the craft beer industry is booming in Michigan. “I did not sign on to change horses in the midrace when I started my business,” said Matt Greff, owner and operator of Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor. Greff said craft beer brewers and those trying to capture a piece of this market would be severely crippled by the tax. There is an existing tax climate when entrepreneurs start news businesses.

It’s a good day to celebrate something, anything, everything

Capital News Service
LANSING – Michiganders had a lot to celebrate and remember in 2013 – things like Wrestling Month and Flower Planting Day. In fact, during 2013 only about 23 days in December weren’t covered by a special designation from the House of Representatives or Senate. Other special times included Autism Awareness Day, Frisbee Day, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Pumpkin and Pumpkin Spice Season, Professional Pest Management Month and High School Radio Day. But critics aren’t feeling festive about unique resolutions. Advocates of a part-time legislature say it shows that lawmakers have too much time on their hands.

Late bills flow with little chance of passage

Capital News Service
LANSING – Coming up soon is the end of the political year, but some lawmakers are still proposing bills, even if they might not pass this term. “It is not impossible but it is hard, really hard,” said Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, “especially for a newly introduced bill.”
Kahn introduced a bill on Oct. 17 to allow the sale of marijuana through licensed facilities. The bill would control an individual’s possession and use of the drug. He was asked to introduce it because he is a physician.

Lose your Bridge Card? Pay for replacement

Capital News Service
LANSING- Michigan Bridge Cards help those who can’t afford groceries, but now some lawmakers want to crack down on reports of cardholders selling them for cash. The state House has approved a plan to charge recipients the second time they lose their cards. Some people who say they lost their cards have really sold them for cash and got another one for free, said Lindsay Vogelsberg, legislative aide for Rep. Bob Genetski, R-Saugatuck, who introduced the bill. Selling Bridge Cards is only one way people have abused the system. Other bills pending in committee would prohibit putting money on the cards of prisoners and lottery winners.