SB 188--which would
force the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to issue a three-way permit
to the Department of Natural Resources on behalf of a state park, without
local ABC oversight--will not be heard in this session of the Indiana
After deadline on
Friday, a spokesperson for the bill’s author, State Sen. James Merritt,
R-31st, told the Chesterton Tribune that the Public Policy Committee,
to which the bill has been assigned, will not hear it.
That should not be
interpreted to mean, though, that Merritt has withdrawn the bill. “It’s not
being withdrawn,” the spokesperson made a point of emphasizing. “It’s just
not being heard. It’s kind of in limbo. It’s not going to be withdrawn but
it’s not going to be heard.”
Merritt did not
further clarify the bill’s status, the spokesperson indicated, nor did he
say why it will go unheard by the Public Policy Committee.
All that can be
said with certainty, in other words, is that SB 188--in its present form, as
introduced by Merritt, as currently numbered, and as assigned to the Public
Policy Committee--won’t become law during this legislative session because
it won't get a committee hearing.
represents portions of Marion and Hamilton counties--told the Tribune
a week ago that his intent in authoring SB 188 was to make Fort Harrison
State Park, with its Garrison Restaurant and Conference Center and the Fort
Golf Course, more competitive with the restaurants, hotels, and other
entertainment options in his district. The bill does not specify Fort
Harrison SP, however, but instead refers generally to “one or more state
HB 1247, meanwhile,
is apparently still in play. This bill would exempt any alcohol retailer’s
permit sought for “economic development purposes” and pending before the ATC
on or after Jan. 1 from local ABC proceedings. It would also nullify the
statutory reasons for denying such a permit in a residential district--that
it would “impair the enjoyment of residents” or be a “public nuisance”--as
well as eliminate the “good moral character” requirement for a beer retailer
and repeal the “high and fine reputation” requirement for a liquor retailer.
HB 1247 was
co-authored by State Reps. Sean Eberhart, R-57th, who represents Shelby
County and much of Bartholomew County, southeast of Indianapolis; and Tom
Dermody, R-20th, who represents portions of LaPorte and Starke counties.
Under HB 1247 any
new three-way application submitted by Pavilion Partners LLC would evidently
go directly to the ATC, bypassing the local ABC.