Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/09/2004 03:19 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 356-EXTEND ALCOHOL DELIVERY SITE SUNSET                                                                                    
Number 1538                                                                                                                     
CHAIR ANDERSON  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  356,  "An  Act  relating  to  operation  of                                                               
alcoholic  beverage   delivery  sites;   and  providing   for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
Number 1501                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE  JOULE, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor,                                                               
explained  that  HB  356  just   extends  the  sunset  date  [for                                                               
AS 04.11.494] from July  1, 2004, to July 1, 2008.   The original                                                               
legislation provides  communities with  the option  of monitoring                                                               
the inflow  of alcohol into  their communities through  a locally                                                               
operated  distribution  center.   To  date,  Barrow is  the  only                                                               
community that  has opted to  utilize this option, but  has found                                                               
it helpful in controlling alcohol  consumption and bootlegging in                                                               
the area.  Representative Joule  said he believes it is important                                                               
to extend  the sunset  date to give  communities more  options to                                                               
deal with  problems at the local  level.  In reply  to a question                                                               
from Chair Anderson, he explained:                                                                                              
     When  a community  exercises the  local-option law  and                                                                    
     goes to  a "damp" status,  people can bring  in alcohol                                                                    
     to  those communities,  but  they  cannot legally  sell                                                                    
     alcohol  in   those  communities.     There   are  some                                                                    
     communities that have a real  battle between whether to                                                                    
     go dry or  to go wet, or ... somewhere  in between.  In                                                                    
     a damp  community and  in the  community of  Barrow, in                                                                    
     particular,  this  distribution  center  is  the  happy                                                                    
     This is  where both sides  of a very  contentious issue                                                                    
     have come to  the middle and have agreed.   For alcohol                                                                    
     that's being  freighted in, for baggage  that's marked,                                                                    
     everybody  ...  does  check  through  the  distribution                                                                    
     center, pays their little fee.   There's a limit on how                                                                    
     much alcohol that they can  bring into the community in                                                                    
     a  month. ...  Currently,  in the  community of  Barrow                                                                    
     where it  is being exercised, there  are 1,713 permits.                                                                    
     ... So,  it is  being utilized.   Not  all of  them are                                                                    
     active,  mind  you,  but  ...  that  many  people  have                                                                    
     applied for permits.                                                                                                       
CHAIR ANDERSON  asked:  If someone  lives in Barrow and  wants to                                                               
drink  alcohol,  does that  person  get  a  permit and  bring  in                                                               
liquor, or are there bars?                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE JOULE  replied that  there are  no bars  in Barrow                                                               
and that  all liquor  comes through  the distribution  center and                                                               
then into homes.   In response to  questions from Representatives                                                               
Dahlstrom and Gatto,  he said it can be transported  and given as                                                               
a gift.   He also said he  imagined it could be traded.   He said                                                               
it cannot be legally produced.                                                                                                  
Number 1320                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM moved to report  HB 356 out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection,  HB 356 was reported out of the                                                               
House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                    

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