Michigan liquor regulators recently repealed the state's protectionist half-mile rule that prohibited any liquor store from operating within a half-mile of another liquor store. The state legislature, in response to outcry from incumbent liquor store owners, is now taking steps to overrule this reform effort:
"The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that would continue to prohibit liquor stores from operating within a half-mile of each other, defying efforts by state bureaucrats to scrap a longstanding proximity rule.
The 27-9 vote came hours after dozens of furious liquor store owners flooded a legislative hearing at the Michigan Capitol, protesting a pending rule change they claimed could kill their small businesses by allowing competitors to sell liquor next door.
In a battle that has been brewing for months, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission is attempting to strike a 1978 rule limiting liquor stores from operating within 2,640 feet of one another. The commission argues the rule is “protectionist” and anti-competitive.
The Senate legislation would thwart those plans by writing the so-called half-mile rule into law. It would also create exemptions allowing larger retailers and grocery stores to get around the rules..."
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