LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Wednesday approved measures sponsored by Sen. Kevin Daley that seek to provide various forms of relief to certain community organizations and nonprofits that were shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My colleagues and I have spent the last few months working on various ways to provide relief to families, businesses, schools and others who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Daley, R-Lum. “I was approached by a gentleman from my district who suggested eliminating or prorating licensing fees as a way to help certain community organizations like American Legion posts.”
The idea came, in part, from Mike Pergande from the American Legion Post 18 in Bay City. Pergande reached out to Daley’s office with the idea of reimbursing club liquor licenses last November after his post received their license renewal bill.
“When I spoke to Mike, he said he was disappointed to see the state was requesting the full price for a new license even though he, and other club license holders, were forced to close for most of 2020,” Daley said. “They were unable to use licenses they had already paid for.”
Senate Bills 125 and 126 would help support local businesses by prorating or crediting certain state license fees for times licensees were unable to use their license as intended due to the pandemic and resulting orders.
The bills would not charge large bingo halls license fees for 2021 if applicants held a license in 2020. The bills would also prorate club liquor license fees for the time licensees were unable to offer indoor service due to orders issued through the governor or the state health department.
“These bills would provide targeted help to nonprofit organizations like American Legions and VFW halls,” Daley said. “These types of organizations do so much for our communities; cutting these folks a break on their license fees is the least we could do, especially with the current curfews and capacity limits that are in place.”
Both bills passed the Senate unanimously and now move to the Michigan House of Representatives for further consideration.