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  • Commerce & Regulation
    Opinion
     
    Supporters are petitioning for the approval of Senate bill No. 856. The bill would allow the sale of alcohol to 4 a.m. in cities with populations over 600,000. This would be certified only for restaurants and bars in central business districts. Detroit is one of the cities fighting for this bill to be passed. Supporters feel this would allow Detroit to compete with cities such as Miami, Chicago, and New York City. Kathleen Gray, author of the article, “Last call at 4 a.m.? Legislation would allow some Michigan bars, restaurants to serve alcohol later,” however, sees this as being detrimental to the city.
     
    There are certainly pros and cons for allowing the sale of alcohol to 4 a.m. Senator Virgil Smith, a state senator in Michigan’s fourth district, does not see this as a positive thing with the amount of adult clubs located in Detroit. “I can’t have clubs on 8 Mile staying open until 4 in the morning,” (Gray). Even though there are some bars already serving alcohol illegally passed 2 a.m. called blind pigs. Protesters argue that this is just promoting heavy alcohol use and catering to the already troubled drinkers. There is concern of increased bar fights and drinking and driving as well. To help monitor these problems, additional police officers will have to be hired. If the bill was to be approved, businesses would have to purchase an after-hours permit amounting to $10,000 each year. The money would be dispersed to local police departments earning 85% of the share, the Liquor Control Commission receiving 10%, and the local unit of government getting 5% of the $10,000. With the amount of money spent on extra police to monitor the areas with expanded alcohol hours, cities aren’t convinced that they would even make a profit from the new policy.
    Yes, Kathleen Gray brings up valid points to not approve the bill, but the benefits out way the negatives. Other cities such as New York City, Chicago, and Miami already have this bill in place and it is working effectively. This bill could be what Detroit has been looking for to prosper. Detroit is an entertainment city. People come to Detroit for sporting events, concerts, festivities, and the money-guzzling casinos. If Detroit was the only city in Michigan that allowed alcohol to be served to 4 a.m., that alone would attract people to come. Casinos, hotels, and transportation services in Detroit have been pushing for the bill to be passed knowing that this could greatly improve their business.
    Causal inference is expressed throughout the article. Proof of this is the Michigan legislature rejecting the proposal to allow the selling of alcohol to 4 a.m. because of the potential hazards of it. When in reality, only 16% of bills introduced to the senate actually pass. “According to the current session of 2011-2012, of the 975 bills introduced within the senate 156 have been declared a public act, a pass percentage of 16%,” (Cislo). Three years ago the legislature approved the bill allowing the sale of alcohol before noon on Sundays. It will be interesting to see in the coming years what will happen to Senate bill No. 864.
     
    Generalizability was used in the article to explain the wide spread increase of the approval of bill No. 856. Chicago for instance, is the only city in Illinois permitted to sell alcohol to 4 a.m. While the state of Nevada, is allowed to sell alcohol 24 hours a day. 
     
    It is easy to see the two sides of the argument for the approval of the bill. While there are many benefits, there are also many negatives towards the bill. Generalizability and causal inference help the reader dig deeper into the information to gain a better understanding of the article. Senate bill No. 856 will be looked at again in the future. For the sake of cities like Detroit, hopefully the bill will be approved next time.
     
     
    Works Citied
    Cislo, Christopher. "Authorization of 4 A.M. Liquor Licenses." N.p., 1 Mar. 2012. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
    Gray, Kathleen. "Last Call at 4 a.m.? Legislation would allow some Michgian bars, restaurants to serve alcohol later." N.p., 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
     
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    Marie Hallberg is the commerce & regulation correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network and a first-year student at Michigan State University. Currently, she is a no preference major, but is interested in either a teaching or communications degree. Marie is very excited to be attending MSU and anxious to explore the opportunities that are available to her. Marie is originally from Illinois and enjoys hanging out with her family and friends, reading, and being in band. Her career aspirations include a job focused on serving and working with people, possibly in the guest service area. She is very interested in using her experience on the Michigan Policy Network to help better her understanding of the Michigan government and how its policies ultimately affect the citizens of Michigan.