The legislation will allow customers in sparsely populated areas such as the Upper Peninsula to have access to fuel 24 hours a day. Most states already allow this practice with unattended stations, including neighboring states such as Wisconsin.
“I’m pleased this plan passed the House and is advancing,” LaFave said. “Most other states do not require a gas station attendant be present to sell fuel, so it’s time we catch up. It’s 2020, not 1920 – we have modern gas pumps and handles that are safe and easy to use.”
LaFave, of Iron Mountain, said his plan is important for public safety. His legislation would make it economically feasible for stations to be open 24 hours a day – meaning people would not have the fear of running out of gas on bitter cold Upper Peninsula nights and in other emergency situations.
In regions such as southeast Michigan, LaFave said allowing stations to be open around-the-clock – including times when a station is not staffed – will limit congestion and space out traffic at stations, helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“If this plan is approved and becomes part of Michigan law, I strongly believe it will save lives,” LaFave said. “In northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula in particular, we have limited gas stations to begin with and our winters tend to be brutally cold. If someone is driving and about to run out of gas, it could be the difference between life and death – either breaking down on the side of the road, or being able to fuel up. I’m certain we’d all prefer the latter.”
The legislation will now head to the Senate for further consideration.
State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, and Greg Markkanen, of Hancock, today said they both support a new state budget approved by the Michigan House that protects funding for K-12 schools, local communities and other shared top priorities of Upper Peninsula families.
State Rep. Beau LaFave today testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of his plan to clarify Michigan’s state laws to protect the private property rights of Michigan residents.