Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Legislative libations 1: Matters of distilling and brewing.

In Indiana legislative news, HB 1293 (creation of artisanal distilling permits) will be heard in committee this very morning. As currently written, it would broaden the scope of distilling permits for existing small wineries wishing to enter or expand distilling, and enable existing small breweries to obtain permits on what amounts to a leveled regulatory playing field.

Our own representative Ed Clere is carrying the ball for this bill, and he is joined as sponsor by Rep. Rhonda Rhoads from the adjacent District 70. I support this measure sans self-interest, seeing as though NABC has no immediate plans to get into distilling, and I'd like to publicly thank Ed Clere (sans irony) for seeing the merit of enabling craft distilling in Indiana.

The other two items of interest to the Brewers of Indiana Guild, of which I'm a director, both originate in the Senate and are explained below in excerpts from a mailing by the guild's executive director. SB 0401 would rationalize the paperwork for small breweries to legally pour samples at fests and events. SB 0100 would allow us to sell pre-sealed bottles and growlers at farmers' markets. Needless to say, I'm in favor of these measures, as well.

We have filed three bills: SB 0100 (to permit brewers to sell product at farmers markets), SB 0401 (to create a streamlined process for serving at festivals and special events) and HB 1293 (to create an artisan distiller permit) ...

 ... There will be other hearings and opportunities to support all of our bills. In order to become law, a bill must have a committee hearing and vote, debate and vote on second reading, and debate and vote on third reading. The bill then goes "across the hall" (from Senate to House, or House to Senate) where the entire process repeats. In reality, only a fraction of bills make it to the governor's desk, and those that do are rarely in the same form as they started (because of amendments).

No comments: