Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/02/2001 03:40 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                     HB 152-BREWPUB LICENSES                                                                                
CHAIRMAN PHILLIPS announced HB 152 to be up for consideration.                                                                  
MR. KEVIN HAND,  Staff to Representative Halcro,  thanked them for                                                              
bringing this legislation up again  today. He reviewed that HB 152                                                              
is a stopgap  measure to ensure the unencumbered  operation of new                                                              
highly successful industry in the State of Alaska.                                                                              
     It  incorporates a  band aid solution  involving a  one-                                                                   
     year  sunset   clause  that  will  enable   brewpubs  to                                                                   
     continue  their operation  through  a  full year  rather                                                                   
     than  shutting  down  due  to   the  somewhat  draconian                                                                   
     production  that are  put in  place  currently in  state                                                                   
He said the sunset  is June 30, 2002 and it  raises the production                                                              
cap on brewpubs  to 150,000 gallons  total, of which no  more than                                                              
75,000 gallons  can be  sold in-house  and of  which no  more than                                                              
75,000 gallons can be sold wholesale.                                                                                           
MR. HAND said:                                                                                                                  
     These  businesses do  employ hundreds  of people in  the                                                                   
     Anchorage  area,  alone.  They   represent  millions  of                                                                   
     dollars  and,  in  fact, multi-millions  of  dollars  in                                                                   
     capital  investments,  which   in  Anchorage  has  taken                                                                   
     previously abandoned decrepit  buildings and revitalized                                                                   
     them into  a very  popular spot right  in the middle  of                                                                   
     Spenard and old Anchorage.                                                                                                 
     Brewpubs do represent a diversification  of economies in                                                                   
     Alaska encouraging  increased employment outside  of our                                                                   
     historically  limited industries,  which have  obviously                                                                   
     been  heavily dependent  upon  resource extraction.  The                                                                   
     sunset clause  does allow  an operational timetable  for                                                                   
     the  brewpub operators  to sit  down  with the  industry                                                                   
     associations to  find a consensus, which can  be a long-                                                                   
     term solution.                                                                                                             
     I do concur as does Representative  Halcro that this, in                                                                   
     fact, is  not a long-term fix.  Hence the reason  we are                                                                   
     before you  with a one-year  band aid that  will provide                                                                   
     the time without putting encumbrances  upon a successful                                                                   
     operation here  within the state that has  enjoyed great                                                                   
SENATOR TORGERSON said he was not going to support this                                                                         
legislation, because he thought it was:                                                                                         
     …a travesty  that the  House sat on  it for five  months                                                                   
     and couldn't  get it worked  out and I don't  see really                                                                   
     that  it'll  be  worked  out over  the  summer.  At  any                                                                   
     degree, this  is not the fix  that should be  before us.                                                                   
     They should go to the heart  of the thing and try to fix                                                                   
     it instead of  trying to put band aids on  it and expect                                                                   
     us  to do it  in a  couple of  days. I  won't block  the                                                                   
     move, but I'll sign 'no recommendation.'                                                                                   
SENATOR DAVIS moved to pass SB 152 from committee with individual                                                               
recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                

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