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Legislature appoints special alcohol commission

May 25, 2017

Cold beer could be available in Indiana convenience stores’ coolers within two years.

The Indiana General Assembly’s Legislative Council has established the Alcohol Code Revision Commission to review and recommend changes to the state’s beer and liquor laws contained in Indiana Code 7.1. As special committee convened especially to study the alcohol statutes, the group will meet during the 2017 and 2018 legislative interim sessions.

This summer, the commission is charged with examining the state’s retail alcohol laws.

The Legislative Council approved the new commission Thursday as part of the resolution assigning study topics to the interim study committee. George Angelone, executive director of Indiana Legislative Services Agency, told the council of the 133 subjects that had been proposed for review, 51 were assigned.

In addition to the alcohol commission, the council established the Executive Officers Compensation Advisory Commission to study the salaries of officials in the executive branch. Also the Legislature has asked the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana to look at infant mortality and children born with an addiction as well as licensing requirements for child services workers.

Indiana Speaker Brian Bosma along with House minority leader Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, and Senate minority leader Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, applauded the creation of the special alcohol commission.

Bosma noted the controversy that erupted during the 2017 General Assembly session when Ricker’s convenience stores found a loophole in state law which allowed cold beer sales at two of its locations. Legislators were angry but eventually decided to allow the retailer to continue selling icy brew until its permit expires at the end of the year.

He and the Democratic leaders noted the need for special study of Indiana’s alcohol laws.

“At least we’re moving in the right direction,” Pelath said. “I think this will allow the return of some sanity.”

Commission members will include members from the General Assembly and from the public. The lay members must be a former judge, official of the Alcohol Tobacco Commission or excise officer, or have regulatory experience. Lobbyists and liquor permit holders are prohibited from serving on the commission.

The other interim study committees and their assigned topics can be found by clicking here.  


 

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