Chesterton Tribune



HB1247 latest effort to weaken alcohol rules

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A bill has been introduced in the Indiana House which could potentially give Pavilion Partners LLC another bite at the apple: HB 1247, authored by State Reps. Sean Eberhart, R-57th, and Tom Dermody, R-20th.

Eberhart represents Shelby County and much of Bartholomew County, southeast of Indianapolis; Dermody, portions of LaPorte and Starke counties.

They serve together on the Public Policy Committee.

Specifically, HB 1247 would do the following:

* Exempt any “application for a retailer’s permit issued for economic development purposes”--and pending before the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission on or after Jan. 1--from local ABC proceedings.

* Prohibit the ATC from denying a permit in a residential district on the ground that it “would unreasonably impair the enjoyment of residents” or--in the case of an application for a renewed permit--on the ground that the premises are a “public nuisance.”

* Eliminate the “good moral character” requirement for a beer retailer.

* Repeal the “high and fine reputation” requirement for a liquor retailer’s permit.

* Repeal a provision granting the ATC both express and implied powers.

* Repeal a provision prohibiting a person from performing an indirect act or holding an indirect interest, if the law prohibits a direct act or interest.

* And stipulate that the ATC’s review of a local ABC ruling is not “de novo,” that is, that its review does not actually constitute a brand-new hearing on the permit application.

HB 1247, if enacted as authored, would apparently send any new three-way application submitted by Pavilion Partners directly to the ATC, bypassing the local ABC. It would also apparently nullify most of the statutory grounds available for denying the application.

SB 188, introduced by State Sen. James Merritt, R-31, is a little different. It applies to any three-way application submitted to the ATC by the Department of Natural Resources on behalf of a state park. Any such application, however, would similarly be exempt from ABC notifications and proceedings, exempt as well from the “high and fine reputation” requirement.



Posted 1/13/2016




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