Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today signed legislation making business and distribution easier for the state’s craft spirit makers.
It cuts red tape for Michigan-based craft distilleries and retailers where ready-to-drink cocktails (also know as “canned cocktails”) are concerned. These types of beverages have been growing in popularity, particularly during the pandemic.
Spirit makers can increase the alcohol by volume percentage of canned cocktails from 10% to 13.5% so long as they are packaged in a can less than 24-ounces. The bills also reduce the tax on mixed spirits from $0.48 per liter to $0.30 per liter.
“We thank the Governor and the bi-partisan efforts in both the House and Senate for recognizing the importance of the craft distilling industry in Michigan as well as the need to make these changes which create new opportunities to get products to market,” said Jon O’Connor, co-founder of Long Road Distillers and Michigan Craft Distillers Association President. “We believe this is the beginning of continued and expanded support for future efforts related to enhancing opportunities for Michigan Small Distillers.”
Grand Rapids — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer repeated apologies Monday for violating her own social distancing rules at a restaurant this weekend as Michigan’s health department rescinded the rule about the number of restaurant or bar patrons allowed at a table.
But the governor avoided saying whether the restaurant should be fined as other facilities have been for breaking COVID-19 guidelines.
“I don’t know that there’s a lot more for me to add at this point in time other than those former Spartans — or I guess you’re a Spartan for life — who know the establishment should be aware that it is now a restaurant, and they have pretty good pizza,” Whitmer said Monday.
The governor issued her apology Sunday after the conservative news outlet Breitbart reported the incident at the East Lansing eatery and bar.
“And now we have the hideous Democrat governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, who has once again proved she doesn’t really believe in the fascist, anti-science rules she’s persecuting the people of Michigan with, and we know Whitmer doesn’t really believe in her own edicts because when she believes no one is looking, she violates her own edicts.
While the hideous Whitmer was telling the people of Michigan to not travel, she traveled to Florida.”
Whitmer and a group of 12 others hit the Landshark bar in East Lansing Saturday, violating her own order regulating how many patrons can sit at a table. Unlike previous hypocrisies, Whitmer apologized and blamed her action on being “human.”
Monday, Johnson sent a letter, obtained by Breitbart News, that acknowledged Breitbart’s report and said Whitmer’s action was “in direct violation of the updated restaurant capacity orders that your administration issued on May 15.”
That order capped a restaurant table’s capacity at six diners.
“You did not receive any fine or citation for violating your own orders even though your administration has had no problem penalizing Michiganders who made the same mistake you made,” Johnson wrote.
“Governor, it is time for you to lead with your actions and not just empty words,” the committee chairman wrote.
Johnson said in light of Whitmer’s “hypocritical action,” he called on Whitmer to do the following:
- “Refund any and all fees and fines associated with businesses that did not comply with your administration’s (coronavirus) guidelines”
- Instruct business regulators “to drop any legal action against individuals or business owners who failed to follow these guidelines”
- “Immediately lift” the remaining restrictions on businesses and restaurants
To that point, the Associated Press reported Whitmer rescinded “the rule she violated at the bar.”
“We have not gone forward and penalized businesses that are trying to do the right thing,” she said, making an exception for those that she decided had “flouted” her orders.
“I don’t know that there’s a lot more for me to add at this point in time other than those former [Michigan State] Spartans, or I guess you’re a Spartan for life, who know the establishment should be aware that it is now a restaurant and they have pretty good pizza,” Whitmer said.
He’s called continued restrictions recommended by health officials, even as more and more people are vaccinated, “witch-doctorism,” and blasted experts who say vaccinated people should wear masks outside, a stance that has lately been taken up by some on the left. He’s described masks as “face diapers” and accused liberals of taking advantage of the coronavirus to enact Soviet-style government control. And he’s engaged in a classic strategy of “what-aboutism,” condemning the use of political violence in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack but quickly pivoting to comparisons with violent demonstrations by the political left, including groups such as antifa, following the killing of George Floyd, the Black man whose neck was pinned to the ground by a White policeman in Minneapolis.