Maryland Legislature Strikes Back Against Reform Advocate


Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has led a well-publicized crusade against Maryland's outdated beer laws--a fight which has endeared him to much of the craft beer community but not to some state legislators. The Maryland legislature is now considering stripping Franchot's office of its power to regulate alcohol in the state as retribution for his reform advocacy:

The Maryland Senate on Wednesday approved a plan to study whether Comptroller Peter Franchot should continue to regulate the state’s alcohol industry — legislation inspired by a fight over beer policy between lawmakers and the Democratic comptroller.

Without discussion, the chamber voted 42-3 to create a task force to examine whether the comptroller’s office “is the most appropriate agency to ensure the safety and welfare of the residents of Maryland.” The House of Delegates approved the measure earlier this month, after rejecting a proposal by Franchot to eliminate many restrictions that craft brewers say are slowing their industry’s growth.

The passage is the latest blow in a yearlong battle over Maryland’s system of alcohol regulation, which dates to Prohibition and has established, powerful forces in Annapolis...

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