By Katy Sword, Columbian staff writer
Published: May 8, 2018, 5:56 PM
Rep. 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.