Key Points for Alcohol Policy from Surgeon General’s Report

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Senator Arthur Orr has requested that Legislative Services Staff meet with ABC to review Orr’s 2018 bill to privatize the retail operations of the Alabama ABC Board. Senate Bill 298 was introduced by Sen. Orr during the 2018 regular session, but never went anywhere. It was that bad.

Now, Senator Orr would like for ABC to meet with Legislative Services staff so they can point out ALL areas of concern, logistical issues and/or conflicts with current law. This is of course so that a new bill can be drafted and ready for introduction during the 2019 regular session, which begins March 5, 2019. A meeting has been scheduled with Mr. Gipson and Legislative Services for 9:30 a.m. on December 17, 2019.

I had a long conversation with Sen Orr this summer to try to dissuade him from this path

as many others have, all to no avail. He told me that he planned to continue his push to privatize ABC Retail and then ABC Wholesale although the legislation he sponsored last year would have privatized everything; retail, wholesale and would do away with ABC as a state Agency.

The above development poses a real concern because Sen Orr’s legislation has, in the past been so bad that not even those who supported privatization would support his Bill. This could change that. For those of us who were hoping this issue somehow might just go away, it’s not. Also, Senator Orr is expected to keep his position as Chairman of the powerful Senate F&T General Fund Committee. This is one of the 3 most important committees in the Senate along with F&T Education and Rules.

We are discussing ways for ABC to deal with this development and will keep you updated as developments occur. Also the following are significant upcoming dates:

Jan 8, 2019 Organizational session begins. Leadership elected, committees assigned.

Jan 14, 2018 Inauguration

Mar 5, 2018 Legislative Session begins

June 17,2019 Legislative Session end date.