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Herrera Beutlers bill on distilleries advances to House

first_imgRep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, is chalking up a win today as one of her bills moves to the House floor.HR 5317 would repeal a 19th-century law that prohibits distilleries on tribal lands. The law, left over from prohibition rules set in 1834, states that any distillery built on tribal land spurs a $1,000 fine and will be shut down by the federal government.“Indian tribes deserve the same economic opportunities as non-tribal citizens,” Herrera Beutler said Tuesday in a press release. “I’m pleased my bipartisan bill was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee this morning, paving the way for the Chehalis Tribe in Southwest Washington and other tribes all over the country to be able to build and operate distilleries on their own lands.”The bill will support plans in the works by the Chehalis Tribe to open a distillery and brewery and diversify the tribe’s economic base.Chehalis Tribal Chairman Harry Pickernell Sr. testified in April that construction of the distillery would create about 100 jobs, with 30 to 40 full-time positions remaining once operations open.As it stands now, he said, the tribe has only about 160 jobs available via its enterprises to serve between 300 and 400 working-age members.One of those enterprises opened in 2008, when the tribe partnered with the Great Wolf Resorts to build the Great Wolf Lodge on tribal lands.Pickernell testified that the distillery rule has never been enforced but that it is impacting their ability to move forward with new development.last_img read more