Friday, February 19, 2010

Critical juncture for SB 75 may be coming on Monday.

Last evening I had the chance to chat briefly with Ed Clere, our District 72 State Representative, about SB 75.

It’s the bill we’ve been referring to as the “growler bill,” or the “Sunday carry-out for microbrewers” bill.

On Wednesday, SB 75 was considered by the House Committee on Public Policy and passed its first reading by a vote of 10-0. Two other alcohol-related bills have been added to our bill. Both passed their vettings to date with little dissent. One of them adjusts Sunday hours to match those stipulated for the remainder of the week. The other ends the prohibition of sales while the polls are open on Election Day.

Finally, two minor provisions pertaining to local conditions in Terre Haute and Ft. Wayne also have been attached to SB 75. I’m told that this sort of thing is normal, and should have no deleterious consequences.

So, in large measure, SB 75 remains “clean” in the sense of harboring no egregious amendments. However, according to Ed, this still might happen – especially during the 2nd reading, this time before the full House, and probably on Monday, February 22. He is of the opinion that if the 2nd reading hurdle is cleared, the 3rd reading (full House) and subsequent journey back to the point of origin in the Senate should come off without a hitch.

To repeat: Ed feels that the 2nd reading, probably on Monday, is the critical one. It is then that “bad” amendments and attachments are most likely to occur. If Indiana residents are reading, please take a few minutes to send an e-mail to your State Representative in support of SB 75 as it stands. The mood is optimistic. Parity may be just around the corner ...

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