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Legislation on the Move to Help Restaurants, Bars and Retailers with Staffing Issues

Advocacy News – May 11, 2022

As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the ramp up to summer, many restaurants and bars report their number one issue remains finding adequate staffing.

Lawmakers, looking for ways to help, may have found a limited solution to increase the pool of potential hires: lower the minimum age requirement to sell and serve alcohol in Michigan from 18 to 17.

Under current law, 17-year-olds can clear alcohol from tables and stock the bar, but they cannot carry alcohol to a table or complete a sale for alcohol for consumption on or off the licensed premises. House Bill 4232, which already passed the Michigan House by a vote of 64 to 39 and was approved by the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee Wednesday, would allow individuals 17 years of age and older to sell or serve alcoholic liquor. To be eligible, a supervisor who is 18 years or older must be on-premise during the shift and the individual in question will have to complete a server training program approved by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. The bill would keep the legal drinking age at 21.

Michigan’s current age restrictions for sales and service of alcohol dates back to 1981. Eighteen states currently allow a person under 18 to sell alcohol off premises consumption.

The Michigan Chamber will be advocating for quick approval of this legislation by the Senate so the bill can go to the Governor’s desk in the coming weeks. We will keep members apprised of its status.

Please contact Wendy Block, Vice President of Business Advocacy & Member Engagement, with questions at wblock@michamber.com.

Advocacy News – May 11, 2022

As we approach Memorial Day weekend and the ramp up to summer, many restaurants and bars report their number one issue remains finding adequate staffing.

Lawmakers, looking for ways to help, may have found a limited solution to increase the pool of potential hires: lower the minimum age requirement to sell and serve alcohol in Michigan from 18 to 17.

Under current law, 17-year-olds can clear alcohol from tables and stock the bar, but they cannot carry alcohol to a table or complete a sale for alcohol for consumption on or off the licensed premises. House Bill 4232, which already passed the Michigan House by a vote of 64 to 39 and was approved by the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee Wednesday, would allow individuals 17 years of age and older to sell or serve alcoholic liquor. To be eligible, a supervisor who is 18 years or older must be on-premise during the shift and the individual in question will have to complete a server training program approved by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. The bill would keep the legal drinking age at 21.

Michigan’s current age restrictions for sales and service of alcohol dates back to 1981. Eighteen states currently allow a person under 18 to sell alcohol off premises consumption.

The Michigan Chamber will be advocating for quick approval of this legislation by the Senate so the bill can go to the Governor’s desk in the coming weeks. We will keep members apprised of its status.

Please contact Wendy Block, Vice President of Business Advocacy & Member Engagement, with questions at wblock@michamber.com.