Reps. Stamas, Graves named Legislators of Year

LANSING — State Representatives Jim Stamas (RMidland) and Joseph Graves (RArgentine Twp.) were named Legislators of the Year for 2012 by the Michigan Retailers Association because of their outstanding work on key retail issues.

The MRA Board of Directors honored both lawmakers at its meeting on Jan. 22.

Rep. Stamas, the House majority floor leader, sponsored and was instrumental in the passage of legislation (House Bill 5660, Public Act 213) to exempt certain flexible drink pouches from the state’s bottle deposit law.

“Rep. Stamas, a successful small business owner himself, was quick to act when the Michigan Department of Treasury announced that flexible pouches used to package some frozen alcoholic beverages would come under the bottle deposit law,” said James P. Hallan, MRA president and CEO.

“There is no automated way to redeem these pouches, so requiring stores to accept the returns would have created an additional burden on retailers. And just as important as the exemption itself was preventing a state department from expanding, on its own, the bottle deposit law enacted by voters.”

Rep. Graves sponsored the Organized Retail Crime Act (House Bills 5843 & 5902, Public Acts 455- 56) to give law enforcement new tools to fight the growing problem of retail theft rings.

“Rep. Graves worked with Gov. Snyder’s administration and MRA on passage of the anti-crime legislation, and his determination and hard work led to the measure being enacted in the final hours of the 2012 legislative session,” said Hallan.

“Michigan Retailers is pleased to recognize the outstanding work done by both legislators.”

Michigan Retailers Association represents nearly 5,000 members and their more than 15,000 stores and websites in Michigan. Retail is responsible for nearly one in five jobs in Michigan’s economy: 405,000 direct jobs in retail stores and more than 385,000 jobs in related and supporting industries. — G.G.

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