Press release

R Street applauds passage of bill bringing alcohol freedom to Florida

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The Florida House just passed a bill that would allow grocery stores, gas stations, and other retail outlets in the state to start selling liquor right alongside beer, wine, and other goods. The bill already passed the state Senate, so it is now headed straight to the governor's desk. R Street applauded this development in a press release:

The walls separating Florida’s supermarkets and big box stores from their liquor-store annexes could soon be coming down, as state lawmakers have approved a bill that would allow beer and wine retailers throughout the state to add liquor to their shelves.

Under S.B 106, passed today by the Florida House, the addition of hard alcohol to the shelves of everyone from big box stores to larger gas stations will occur in phases over the next five years. Stores still would be prohibited to sell liquor within 1,000 feet of schools and required to keep “mini” bottles stored behind the counter.

“It is important to understand that this initiative is being driven by consumer demand,” noted Christian R. Cámara, R Street’s Southeast region director. “At the end of the day, this is really about treating adults as adults.” ...

Read the rest here: http://www.rstreet.org/news-release/r-street-applauds-passage-of-bill-bringing-alcohol-freedom-to-florida/

R Street's Christian Cámara has also previously testified and written about Florida's alcohol separation law here and here.

R Street welcomes Texas bills to modernize liquor laws

R Street's press release supporting efforts to modernize Texas liquor laws:

AUSTIN, Texas (Feb.18, 2015) – The R Street Institute welcomed bills introduced in both houses of the Texas Legislature that would modernize alcohol regulation by removing anticompetitive provisions in current state law.

S.B. 609 and H.B. 1225 will repeal the prohibition against publicly traded companies selling distilled spirits. Currently, only privately held companies are allowed by law to sell distilled spirits. Supermarkets, big box stores and convenience stores that currently sell beer and wine already have strong consumer protections in place to prevent minors from accessing alcohol, and often outperform traditional liquor stores in theft prevention and age screening.

“The prohibition in Texas serves no other purpose than to limit competition, and Texas is the only state in the nation that distinguishes retailers by their corporate status for the purposes of selling spirits,” said Josiah Neeley, R Street’s Texas state director....

Read more at http://www.rstreet.org/news-release/r-street-welcomes-texas-bills-to-modernize-liquor-laws/

R Street welcomes bill to liberalize Florida liquor laws

R Street's press release on legislation to liberalize Florida liquor laws:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2015) – The R Street Institute welcomed today’s vote by the Florida House Business and Professions Subcommittee passing H.B. 107, also known as the “Growler Bill.”

Among other provisions, the bill repeals state law requiring spirits be sold only in liquor stores, paving the way for retailers that already sell beer and wine to enter the market for hard liquor. Supermarkets, convenience stores and big box stores already have strong consumer protections in place to prevent minors from accessing alcohol, and often outperforming traditional liquor stores in theft prevention and age screening....

Read more at http://www.rstreet.org/news-release/r-street-welcomes-bill-to-liberalize-florida-liquor-laws/