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Interim Committee Approves Bill to Add Liquor Licenses

Updated 2:40 PM 6/20/2012

Utah may be getting 90 new liquor licenses. The State Legislature is expected to vote this afternoon on a bill that would allow 50 full-service and 40 limited-service restaurants to obtain licenses. The amendment to the Alcohol Beverage Control Act, sponsored by Senator John Valentine, was presented to the Business and Labor interim committee this morning. Representative Don Ipson urged the committee to approve it. 

“This is a bill that is a stop gap measure to get us through the year," he says. "There are issues on both sides of this when we get into the General Session that need to be addressed. I think there has been a lot of work behind the scenes to make this work. This isn’t a matter of rushing this through, it’s a matter of doing the right thing to make our business environment work properly.”

The bill authorizes the appointment of four law enforcement officers with primary focus on enforcing alcohol laws in the restaurants. It also provides additional funding for the Highway Patrol to conduct DUI enforcement. To offset the increased enforcement costs, the bill calls for a 10 percent increase in liquor license fees. State fiscal analysts estimate the increase will bring in an extra $280,000 in revenue. The committee passed the bill unanimously with a favorable recommendation. It now faces a vote by the House and Senate in a special session this afternoon.

We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

Originally Posted at 1:00 PM 6/20/2012

Republican State Senator John Valentine's bill that would increase the number of liquor licenses available for full-service and limited-service restaurants passed unanimously out of the Business and Labor interim committee today. The bill will now head to the Senate floor for more debate in today's special legislative session.

Valentine's bill will make 90 new liquor licenses available, 50 for full-service restaurants and 40 for limited-service restaurants. It also authorizes the appointment of four law enforcement officers with the primary focus of ensuring compliance.

To help with the added cost of the new compliance officers the bill also includes a 10% increase in the price of licenses. State fiscal analysts estimate the increase will bring in an extra $280,000 in revenue.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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