Friday, February 12, 2010

Zombie 3.2 beer bill back from the dead

It seems like we deal with this same stupid bill every legislative session,

Colorado beer drinkers came closer than ever Wednesday to being able to buy a six-pack of full-strength beer at the same convenience stores where they purchase gas, cigarettes and snacks.

This year though, unfortunately, the bill finally made it out of the first commitee. On the positive side of the ledger though this year's bill is sponsored by a far-right Republican, Larry Liston, as opposed to big business cozy Democrats as in years past. Further positive news, there is not yet a Senate sponsor for the measure.

I wrote about this bill last year and I stand by my analysis then,
[Legislators]should protect Colorado's small businesses and unique independent
brewery scene and stop trying to knee-cap them at the behest of corporate
grocery and convenience stores. If there was ever an example of a needless bill
that was purely driven by special interest greed this was it.

Not surprisingly Liston's rationale for the legislation is lacking,
Rules allowing convenience stores to sell only low-alcohol, 3.2 percent beer —
once legal for 18- to 20-year-olds — also limit shoppers, bill sponsor Rep.
Larry Liston said.

"We can't keep just saying no, no, never," Liston said. "I hear from a lot of
people who say, 'How come we can't get beer?' . . . We really don't have a good

Really? Larry Liston hears from "a lot of people" that they have a hard time buying beer in Colorado? I find that hard to believe. Would it be more convenient to be able to buy when you fill up your tank? Probably for some it would. Would indulging that convenience bring any benefit to the state? It wouldn't, quite the opposite actually.


Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

I note that last year's grocery store beer bill would have helped unionized grocery stores, while liquor stores are almost entirely non-union.

T.R. Donoghue said...

True, but Wal-Mart, 7-11, Conoco et al are not unionized. I think that there are bigger issues for labor in Colorado than letting King Soopers sell me full strength beer.

Would it be better for Colorado to have independent family businesses close in order to add a small amount to the corporate bottom line of Safeway? All the while strengthening the grip of Wal-Mart on independent retailers I might add.

On balance I think we're better off with the status quo.