Several hot button business issues on the agenda of State Rep. Pauline Wendzel have flown through committee sessions today, setting the stage for next steps to get them enacted into the law of the land.
Wendzel had her Commercial Fishing and Brewers packages sail out of the Ways and Means and Regulatory Reform Committees respectively in action today.
Initially unveiled in May, the commercial fishing legislation gained the support of conservation and sporting clubs alike in addition to local governments all across Michigan. Back in October, the St. Joseph City Commission passed a resolution in support of the legislative package.
Wendzel says, “After months of deliberation, I’m excited that this legislation is advancing to the House floor,” and adds, “Michigan is home to some of the most precious natural resources in the world, and we must have modern and efficient regulations in place to protect them and ensure that people continue coming to our state to spend tourism dollars in our local communities.”
The legislation establishes a new statue that protects game fish, regulates gear used by commercial fishers, and establishes penalties that will protect sport fisheries. Wendzel argues that the statutes currently in place are antiquated and fail to establish best practices when it comes to harvesting fish in the Great Lakes.
The legislation will now come before the full House of Representatives.
In the Regulatory Reform Committee, Rep. Wendzel’s self-distribution legislation also passed with unanimous support.
Under current Michigan law, breweries are only allowed to self-distribute up to 1,000 barrels per year before signing an expensive contract with a distributor. Under Wendzel’s legislation, a brewer’s self-distribution limit would double from 1,000 barrels per year to 2,000 barrels per year. Taproom sales, which weighed heavily on the current 1,000 limit, would now be exempt from counting towards the 2,000 barrel threshold.
Pauline says, “Michigan sits near the top of every list as it relates to brewing,” and adds, “I want to thank my colleagues who joined with me to create an even better environment that allows these small Michigan businesses to thrive.”
The legislation has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee with recommendation that it pass. Stay tuned.