• 2/13/2012: URGENT! ACTION NEEDED RE: MIKE BROWN"S DECLARATORY RULING REQUEST from Michigan Alcohol Policy

    Advocates and Coalition Leaders Help Is Needed! 

    A pressing issue has surfaced.  If everyone that receives this email just takes 5-10 minutes to contact Commissioner Deloney and Governor Snyder we believe it could influence them to make a positive decision for public health and safety.  

    Attorney Mike Brown representing Lansing liquor licensee the Tin Can-West Saginaw has asked the MLCC Administrative Commissioners for a declaratory ruling permitting the Tin Can to operate a CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAM.  Apparently Tin Can has been giving customers one stamp each time a customer visits the establishment.  After the customer has received 10 stamps the customer is given a $10 gift certificate which customers can redeem for food, alcoholic beverages, and/or nonalcoholic beverages.

    We believe this to be in violation of current Michigan law - MCL 436.2025(1), which provides as follows:  "A vendor shall not give away any alcoholic liquor of any kind or description of any time in connection with his or her business, except manufacturers for consumption on the premises only." 

    Mike Brown contends  that the customer loyalty program does not violate the law because the program does not dictate how the gift certificate will be redeemed.  It appears that they have been trying to make the argument that it's no different than a coffee customer loyalty program.  However, two differences are that alcohol is not coffee; and with the coffee programs (and other programs) you purchase something.  A purchase does not seem to be required to get a stamp. 
     
    Attached is the request for declaratory ruling.  On page 2 Mr. Brown talks about the law dating back to prohibition.  While that may be the case he wrongly attributes the purpose of this law as prohibiting unsavory practice of offering free alcohol to customers as an inducement to lure them into their establishments.  I believe that he is wrong.  The unsavory practice was bars and saloons putting excessive salt in the food so unsuspecting patrons would drink more alcohol.  Whether or not this dates to prohibition is not relevant.  Research is clear that low alcohol prices results in more problems.  The intention of the law is to not give away alcohol because cheap or free alcohol will result in more social problems.  
     
    Free alcohol is not good public policy and we cannot let this go without a fight.  Now is the time to contact Commissioner Deloney and Governor Snyder!   We will be issuing a press release very soon so stay tuned!  Follow the action steps below and contact us with any questions.  Thanks in advance for your help. 
     
    Mike: 517.803.5586      Marie: 517.230.7884
     
    ACTION STEPS:  Contact Commissioner Deloney and Governor Snyder and copy us as soon as possible.   Tell them to uphold the law and to not permit this scheme to give away free alcohol.  Educate them on how lower alcohol prices are related to excessive alcohol consumption and problems.
     
    1. Email and call Commissioner Deloney and carbon copy Governor Snyder () and Michigan Alcohol Policy    () on any email communications.
       517-322-1353
     
    2. Call Governor Snyder (517) 335-7858.
     
    3. Share this information with other individuals and organizations that might be interested in it. 
    View Declaratory Ruling Request (PDF)

  • 8/23/11: Liquor Control Rules Advisory Committee Mtg
    A few weeks ago the Office of Regulatory Reinvention announced the members of the Liquor Control Rules Advisory Committee.  We are concerned that the interests of public health and safety are not adequately represented.  Click the link below to see who is on it.  Please let us know if you personally know any of these people or if you know people that know them personally.  We will begin to educate and talk with members of the committee about the importance of alcohol regulations.   
     
    http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-10576_35738-260375--,00.html
     
    The first meeting is this Wednesday, August 24 from 1:30-5:00pm.  We are encouraging people to attend the meeting assuming that it will be open though we have heard that the other Office of Regulatory Reform (ORR) Advisory Committees are not.  We would like to get a group of about 25 and some members of the media to attend this first meeting in an effort to discourage it from being closed.  Please let us know if you can attend the meeting.  Even if you can't attend the entire meeting it would be helpful to show up from about 1-2pm so members of the committee and the media see that there are lots of people expecting to attend the meeting.  It's very important for people to monitor these meetings since the Liquor Control Advisory Rules Committee will "assist the Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) in reviewing Michigan's liquor control system in order to ensure that the regulations are simple, fair, transparent and efficient, and conducive to business growth and job creation." 
     
    The address for the meeting is:  611 W. Ottawa St., 4th Floor, Lansing.  If you can attend the meeting please try and be there around 1:00pm. 
      
    Thank you for your attention and please contact us with any questions.  We hope to see a few of you Wednesday. 
     
    Mike                               Marie
    517.803.5586               517.230.7884
     
    P.S.  Later this week we will be asking organizations you belong to, to join us and sign on to a letter that supports Michigan's system of alcohol regulations.  MAP is also compiling a memo to the committee informing them what regulations we want kept and as well as a list of our recommendations.  We encourage all of you to do the same.  Per their instructions - "please send input on specific rules you would like to see changed or other regulatory reinvention ideas to , or via the public comment portion of our website at www.michigan.gov/orr." 


  • 8/5/11: Fair and Festival Observer Form The ISAP Coalition has an interest in ensuring that area Fairs and Festivals are a fun and safe community recreation option.  To this end, the attached document asks questions about alcohol-service and availability, bike parking and healthy food and water options at these community events.  Our goals is to support community events and encourage safe and healthy policies and practices.
     
    If you will be attending any Fairs or Festivals in the next few months, please consider printing this form and completing it to the best of your ability.  You may return the forms to the Ingham County Health Department, Bureau of Environmental Health.  At the end of the Festival Season, we will then review the results with the event planners.
    Download Form (PDF)


  • 3/1/11: URGENT FOR ALL DFC APPLICANTS
    March 1, 2011 BACKGROUND
    The $9.5 million cut to the DFC program contained in the House-passed Continuing Resolution (CR) does impact the current solicitation that is due on March 18, 2011. With your advocacy this cut could be restored. Therefore anyone working on the current RFA should still work to submit the application due on March 18th and should get as many people as possible in their community to respond to this alert.

    At the $85.5 million level contained in the House-passed CR, there would only be enough money for seven new grants this grant cycle, which the field is currently writing applications for now. This is the case because the majority of funds within the $85.5 million would be used to support current grantees. This leaves only approximately $860K for new grants, which means there is only enough money for seven new grants this grant cycle.

    If, on the other hand, the program is funded at $95 million, after accounting for all currently funded grantees there would be approximately $9.6 million available to support new grants. This means there would be enough funds to support approximately 75 new grants at a funding level of $95 million.

    Therefore, in order for there to be enough funds to support the 75 new grants that the field has expected, funding for the program must be restored to the FY 2010 appropriated level of $95 million in the FY 2011 CR.

    It is critical, especially if you are a DFC applicant, that you respond to this alert immediately to ensure that funding for the DFC program is restored to $95 million in the FY 2011 CR. WHAT YOU MUST DO IMMEDIATELY

    Both the House and the Senate need to hear from as many constituents as possible that funding for the DFC program must be restored in the FY 2011 CR to ensure there is money to fund 75 new grants this year. Please ask your members of Congress to support the FY 2010 appropriated level of $95 million for the DFC program in the FY 2011CR.

    Using CADCA’s CapWiz system, fax the sample letter to the members of your congressional delegation to ask them to fund the DFC program at a level of $95 million for FY 2011. YOUR FAX IS CRITICAL. The more letters your members of Congress receive on this issue, the more likely they are to reject the House-passed level of $85.5 million for the DFC program.

    TIMING
    Please fax the members of your congressional delegation IMMEDIATELY. CADCA will continue to monitor the DFC program as the appropriations process moves forward and will alert you when further action must be taken.
    CADCA’s fax system allows you to automatically fax CADCA’s sample letter on this issue to your legislators from CADCA's website. To send faxes to your legislators, go to http://capwiz.com/cadca/home/. If you would like to personalize your letter with examples from your community, please email for a MS Word version of the sample letter.

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