Legislative Update: Senate Hearing

The first legislative hurdle for the craft beer bills takes place tomorrow morning at 8 am when the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce lays out the four bills (along with numerous others on the agenda) for consideration.  Without getting too deep in the weeds on the legislative process, each bill has essentially five hurdles that need to be cleared before they become laws:  Senate committee approval; full Senate approval; House committee approval; full House approval and finally a signature from the Governor. 
In terms of process, it’s largely irrelevant whether the Senate or House acts first, but all bills must overcome these five hurdles (there are some notable exceptions to the process, but in general this is how it works).  Most importantly, we will learn by the end of the day tomorrow whether or not our bills have the support necessary to clear the hurdles.  The intensity of the negotiations leading up to the filing of these four bills make it highly unlikely that there will be amendments or substitute language, but that is always a possibility if the committee has the political will to do it.  Most importantly, our advocates (Tony and Tim) will be testifying on behalf of Open the Taps to show our support for these four bills while putting us on record as requesting an amendment to allow off-premise sales for personal consumption.  We appreciate your support and will let you know how it goes, as Tony and Tim will be tweeting updates from the Capitol which we will post here.



Can you explain which of the 5 hurdles are likely to pass and which ones are likely to fail? I know you don't have a crystal ball but if you were to place a bet....


Our sense right now is that these bills will move as a unit. A key to remember is that there are 5 steps - we have to make it out of committee in the house and senate, pass on the floors of both chambers and then be signed by the governor. It's a process, to be sure, and there are twists and turns yet to be faced. There will come a time quite soon where OTT members and other interested folks will need to directly advocate for all of the legislation to help during this process.