Life was simple back in 2017 when you could walk into one of two Ricker’s convenience stores and order a burrito and beer. Eventually, the state cried “foul!” There was discussion about a “loop-hole” in the Indiana alcohol laws that Ricker’s had walked through.
How to solve this crisis? The answer from the General Assembly was to form a committee, and the Alcohol Code Revision Commission was born. Former State Senator Beverly Gard, appointed by Senate Pro Tem David Long, was named chair of the commission. Recently Speaker Brian Bosma replaced Gard with former State Representative Bill Davis. We hope that this change in leadership does not also signal a change in momentum for the commission.
The mission of the Alcohol Code Revision Commission is important to the business community. The 17-member commission was tasked with spending two years thoroughly studying Indiana’s alcohol laws and subsequently making recommendations for changes during the 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions. Recommendations from the commission last summer resulted in Senate Enrolled Act 1 allowing for Sunday sales of alcohol in Indiana. However, they did not address the sale of cold beer by convenience stores.
According to Speaker Bosma’s statement on this change of leadership, “This year, the Legislative Council charged the commission with examining ways to reduce complexity and improve consistency in Indiana’s alcohol licensing system, evaluating the current quota structure for providing alcohol licenses, and studying over-consumption at retail outlets, hours of sale, and the impact on DUI rates, sexual assaults and public safety.”
The work of this commission is very important because it is about more than cold beer.