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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
When a Little is Enough
In the constant battle over, well – overregulation, there is always room for common sense to find a place; to find some common ground. When that “regulation” is structured to help out local free markets I tend to be in favor of it. When that effort comes from a local source I am doubly glad.
State Representative Goeff Hansen has a piece of legislation pending in committee that would allow the limited sale and tasting of wine at flea markets in Michigan for a small fee. ($25 a day). That fee would go to the State Liquor Control Commission. The Pic above is of the Cheese Lady with Rep. Goeff Hansen at the Muskegon Farmer's Market.
Representative Hansen has seemed to have come up with legislation to help the local wineries of Michigan to promote themselves and help the thriving flea market business of Michigan at the same time.
Before I go further, here are the facts. The legislation is titled House Bill 4147. Below is the preface and title of the bill.
HOUSE BILL No. 4147
February 4, 2009, Introduced by Rep. Hansen and referred to the Committee on Regulatory
A bill to amend 1998 PA 58, entitled
"Michigan liquor control code of 1998,"
by amending section 537 (MCL 436.1537), as amended by 2008 PA 218.
This bill adds in section Q the following classes of vendors which may sell alcoholic liquors at retail.
(Q) FARMERS MARKET LICENSES WHERE WINE MAY BE SAMPLED AND SOLD
AT A FARMERS MARKET FOR CONSUMPTION OFF THE LICENSED PREMISES.
Mr. Hansen, amendment goes on to state the following.
(4) THE COMMISSION MAY ISSUE FARMERS MARKET LICENSES FOR WINE
MAKERS FOR THE PURPOSES OF ALLOWING WINE TASTING AND THE SALE OF
WINE PRODUCED, BY THAT WINE MAKER, AT A FARMERS MARKET, FOR
CONSUMPTION OFF THE LICENSED PREMISES. THE COMMISSION SHALL CHARGE
A LICENSE FEE OF $25.00 PER DAY, FOR UP TO 20 NONCONSECUTIVE DAYS
PER CALENDAR YEAR. SECTION 503 DOES NOT APPLY TO THE APPLICATION OR
ISSUANCE OF A LICENSE UNDER THIS SUBSECTION.
(5) IN ISSUING A FARMERS MARKET LICENSE UNDER THIS SECTION,
THE COMMISSION SHALL REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING:
(A) THAT THE WINE TASTING AND SALES BE LIMITED TO AN AREA
UNDER 1 THE CONTROL OF THE WINE MAKER.
(B) THAT THE APPLICANT DEMONSTRATE IN A MANNER ACCEPTABLE TO
THE COMMISSION THAT THE LOCAL POLICE AGENCY HAS APPROVED THE
PROPOSED LICENSED ACTIVITY.
(6) AS USED IN THIS SECTION, "FARMERS MARKET" MEANS A GROUP OF
FARMERS WHO ASSEMBLE AT A DEFINED COMMUNITY-SPONSORED OR
MUNICIPALLY-SPONSORED LOCATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELLING, DIRECTLY
TO CONSUMERS, PRODUCE PRODUCED BY THOSE FARMERS.
Below is a link to the legislation.
I called up Rep. Hansen to find out more about the bill. He told me that he had introduced the bill last year and nothing happened. This year he introduced it again. Mr. Hansen seemed pleasantly surprised about the extra interest being shown this time around. Below are some examples.
From Traverse City Dec 19th the article below is pretty in-depth.
It explains that the number of Michigan Wineries and Farmer’s Markets are expanding. Rep. Hansen’s bill would facilitate and promote growth of both industries. At Bottom Up Politics, I favor anything that promotes competition and free markets which helps the small business people and startups.
http://www.record-eagle.com/local/local_story_353005206.htmlFrom Traverse City a month later Jan.19th
This ties in with other efforts by Rep. Goeff Hansen (R-Hart). He has introduced the “Buy Local/Select Michigan Day”
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2009-2010/resolutionintroduced/House/pdf/2009-hIR-0157.pdfHe has also co-sponsored a bill allowing Cottage Food Operations. The bill would allow “home-production foods” at farmers markets and other venues.
Rep. Hansen has been consistent in his efforts to help these grass root businesses. I have followed a local Bistro, Mia & Grace in Muskegon, below is a pic of Jeremy Pacquin who is co-owner with his wife when I introduced Goeff to him. At the time they were discussing how Jeremy and Jamie have made Mia & Grace a real garden to table operation. They buy there food from local farmers and make constant trips to the Farmers Market.
For a back story to Mia & Grace look at the link below for an article I posted well before they opened.
The article above combines the farmers market and the small business aspect shown through the eyes of Mia & Grace. Mia & Grace has been a shinning example of the cooperation between the aspects of small local people getting together to help each other. The legislation Rep. Hansen is supporting helps facillitate all of the above.
These may seem like small things, and they may be but they are efforts to lower the bureaucratic bar for the small farmer and entrepreneur to play in the market. Farmer’s Market anyway.
In this case a little is enough.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative