Alcohol/Tobacco (11)

Date of Last Recorded Action: 3/16/2020

HB 0076 NeutralLocals May Reduce State Distance Restrictions on Alcohol Sales Ron Stephens
4/2/2019 Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/01/31 Report 2019/02/22 Report 2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/08 Report Alcohol/Tobacco
General County Government Land Use/Zoning Todd Edwards
Currently, state law prohibits the sale of distilled spirits within 100 yards of churches and within 200 yards of schools and college campuses.  Under this bill, local governments may authorize the sale of packaged alcohol (for consumption off premise) within 200 yards of a college via a less restrictive ordinance; however they cannot enact any greater distances - a more restrictive ordinance.  The term "College" shall include, but not be limited to, all buildings, campuses and grounds of a college.       
HB 0271 NeutralFarm Wineries - Lift Restrictions on Tasting Rooms and Sales to the Public Kasey Carpenter
2/14/2019 House Second Readers Regulated Industries --
Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government Todd Edwards
This legislation removes several restrictions on farm wineries having tasting rooms and selling wine directly to the public.  Primarily, it allows the wineries to have more than one tasting room from which to sell their wine.   
HB 0674 NegotiatingStreamlined Permitting for Alcoholic Beverage Licenses Alan Powell
3/5/2020 House Committee Favorably Reported Regulated Industries --
2020/02/07 2020/03/06 Report Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government Kathleen Bowen
This legislation requires the Department of Revenue, on or before January 1, 2021, to develop and implement a state-wide, centralized online platform for retailers to apply for initial applications and renewals for local and state issued alcohol beverage licenses. The Department of Revenue would adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement and administer the licenses. 
HB 0738 NeutralSmall Brewers Can More Easily Switch Wholesalers Charles Martin
1/14/2020 House Second Readers Regulated Industries --
Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government Todd Edwards
This legislation authorizes small brewers to discontinue an agreement with a wholesaler if the brewer provides at least 30 days' written notice.  The new wholesaler that the brewer goes with would have to compensate the discontinued wholesaler.  An arbitration process is established in the case the two wholesalers come to an agreement on the compensation.    
HB 0809 WatchProhibition of Sale of Tobacco Products and Related Objects to Persons Under 21 Angelika Kausche
1/29/2020 House Second Readers Regulated Industries --
Alcohol/Tobacco Debra Nesbit Health and Human Services
 This legislation prohibits the sale of tobacco products and related objects to persons under the age of 21.  Criminal Sanctions outlined for those are charged with selling these products to persons under 21.
HB 0836 NeutralAlcohol Licenses - DOR Can Issue Throughout the Year Kasey Carpenter
1/30/2020 House Second Readers Regulated Industries --
2020/01/31 Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government Todd Edwards
This bill provides that the State Revenue Commissioner will provide annual alcohol licenses at any point during the year.  Currently, licenses must be applied for by November 1 of each year, and the commissioner must issue licenses by January 1.  Furthermore, all licenses issued will be transmitted to the applicant electronically - unless the applicant requests that the license be mailed.         
HB 0879 OpposeAlcohol - Omnibus Bill: Home Delivery, Streamlined Permitting and Sunday Sales Brett Harrell
8/3/2020 Effective Date Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2020/02/07 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government
Revenue & Finance Todd Edwards

This legislation was amended in Senate Rules Committee to include HB 67, which requires the Department of Revenue (DOR), on or before January 1, 2021, to develop and implement a state-wide, centralized online platform for retailers to apply for initial applications and renewals for local and state issued alcohol beverage licenses. DOR is charged with adopting the rules and regulations necessary to implement and administer the licenses.  

***ACCG's Policy Council voted to oppose this legislation only due to two very narrow, specific elements contained in the above section.  First, ACCG asked to extend the effective date from January 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021 in order to provide DOR and local governments more time to adequately develop the online licensing platform.  Secondly, ACCG asked that local alcohol licenses be issued prior to the state issuing its license using this platform.  Both requests were denied.

The legislation also authorizes the sell and delivery of packaged alcohol (beer, wine and liquor), under specific terms and conditions, to persons who establish accounts with the retailer.  Delivery drivers must undergo training, background checks and meet certain conditions and delivery addresses must be located within the local alcohol licensing jurisdiction of the retailer.  Local governments could prohibit, via ordinance, this delivery within their jurisdiction.         

Additionally, this bill alters the hours and process of approving Sunday package and on-premise (restaurant) alcohol sales (aka, the "brunch bill") of beer, wine and distilled spirits.  Cities and counties who have authorized these sales, via a referendum, may now allow sales starting at 11:00 a.m. via passage of an ordinance or resolution (current sales start at 12:30 noon, and local voters currently would have to pass a referendum in order to alter the times).  Cities and counties could also require a referendum to change this time if they would like.  Going forward, any county that newly-adopts Sunday sales - be they on-premise or package for beer, wine or liquor - must still have a referendum adopted, but the hours of said sales would be from 11:00 a.m. to midnight.   

Lastly, current law prohibits the sale of distilled spirits within 200 yards of schools and college campuses.  Under this bill, local governments may authorize the sale of packaged alcohol (for consumption off premise) within 200 yards of college campuses via the adoption of a less-restrictive ordinance; however, local governments cannot adopt more restrictive distances. The term "college" includes, but is not limited to, all buildings, campuses and grounds of a college.     

      

SB 0146 NeutralAlcohol - Liquor Tastings and Brunch Referendum Frank Ginn
4/2/2019 House Withdrawn, Recommitted Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/29 Report Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government
Todd Edwards
This bill authorizes liquor stores (in counties in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is lawful) to conduct up to 24 tasting events per year.  Among several provisions, tasters are limited to one and a half ounces, the tasting hours must coincide with the legal hours of business, only one tasting can occur per day and cannot exceed four hours, only one type of alcoholic beverage may be served at each tasting; and the city or county which issued the alcohol license must be notified in advance.  Tastings are also authorized for malt beverages, but for no more than eight ounces; and wine, up to five ounces.  The bill was amended in House Committee to eliminate the referendum requirement for local governments authorizing Sunday brunch on-premise sales, and to allow Savannah to authorize the package sale of liquor within 200 yards of the Savannah College of Art and Design.          
SB 0198 EvaluatingAlcohol - Sale of Alcohol Ice Cream without Local Alcohol Permit Renee Unterman
2/27/2019 Senate Read and Referred -Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/03/01 Report Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government Todd Edwards
This legislation authorizes the manufacture, distribution, transportation or sale of ice cream or frozen desserts made with alcoholic beverages (less than 5 percent of alcohol by volume) without an city or county alcoholic beverage license or permit.   
SB 0205 EvaluatingAlcoholic Beverages; issuance of the call and the setting of dates for elections relating to the question of Sunday sales during certain hours; provisions; change Steve Gooch
2/27/2019 Senate Read and Referred -Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/03/01 Report Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government Todd Edwards
SR 0899 NeutralAlcohol - Senate Study Committee on Three Tier System Frank Ginn
6/25/2020 Senate - Senate Passed/Adopted -Rules -
Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government Todd Edwards
This resolution establishes the Senate Study Committee on Alcohol Franchise Law, composed of five senate members, to undertake a study of the conditions, needs, issues and problems with Georgia's alcohol franchise laws (the three-tier system).  In particular, it will study the relationship between manufacturers and wholesalers, exclusive sales territories and governance of terminations; the departure from the current franchise system; and the modernization of state alcohol franchise laws.       
Green background on status indicates a bill has been acted on the last recorded legislative day.








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