Monday, May 19, 2014

McDaniel approves ballot proposal to legalize alcohol sales statewide

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2014 at 5:16 PM

click to enlarge WHAT IF? Every Walmart in Arkansas could sell beer?
  • WHAT IF? Every Walmart in Arkansas could sell beer?
It took four tries, but Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has now approved the form of a proposed constitutional amendment by Little Rock lawyer David Couch that would allow the manufacture, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages everywhere in Arkansas. It would wipe out local dry jurisdictions and leave regulation — but not prohibition — of the sale of alcohol to the legislature. About half the state is nominally dry, though most counties have some private club outlets.

Couch had told me previously that there was great interest in the retail industry in ending Arkansas's crazy quilt of alcohol laws. Petitions efforts are underway now in Faulkner, Saline and Craighead counties to end their sham dry condition (overrun with "private clubs" selling drinks in restaurants) and simply legalize sales.

When you think of grocers and convenience stores and giant retail discounters based in cities that start with a B that would like the ability to sell beer, you can easily envision the pockets deep enough to finance a petition campaign. The organizers would need to round up 78,133 signatures by July 7 of the election year.

The usual groups, particularly church-related, will be opposed. Brush arbor evangelist Jason Rapert, who also fiddles around in the Arkansas Senate, is already enraged because the Faulkner petition circulators didn't get his approval first for particip ating in the democratic process.

Here's the a.g. opinion with the full proposal, as amended by McDaniel.
The news comes too late to get petitioners to polls tomorrow, a good place to gather signatures. The secretary of state needs to sign off, too. But Couch figures it would take only 30 days to get the necessary signatures.

Couch says this wouldn't affect regulations that limit sale of spirits to liquor stores according to a formula based on population in each county. It would also retain regulations that nominally present chain-store alcohol sales or within walls of retail outlets selling other goods.
Favorite

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Blue Hog says Fort Smith police tried to hack into his computer

    Matt Campbell, author of the Blue Hog Report and a Little Rock lawyer, says in a new filing in a long-running lawsuit by a Fort Smith police officer against the department that a computer file sent by Fort Smith officer contained software intended to hack into his computer and make his hard drive unsafe.
    • Apr 14, 2015
  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 2016
  • Little Rock School District sued over refusal to release employee's records

    Matt Campbell, a Little Rock lawyer, said he filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit today against the Little Rock School District for its failure to provide personnel records of Teresa Gordon, a media specialist at Jefferson Elementary.
    • Apr 14, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Learn about one of the wildest oil booms in history in Smackover

Learn about one of the wildest oil booms in history in Smackover

This small south Arkansas city was once one of the top oil producers in the nation.

Most Viewed

  • Bill introduced to strip state funds from hypothetical 'sanctuary cities' in Arkansas

    It's been awhile since Arkansas has seen legislation specifically targeting immigrants, but after the 2016 election proved the political utility of shameless xenophobia, it couldn't stay that way for long.
  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Second arch of Broadway Bridge floated into place

    The second arch of the new Broadway Bridge is in place or will be shortly. Barges and tow boats shuttled the arch into place in, as the state Highway Department described it, a "delicate choreography."
  • Labor department director inappropriately expensed out-of-state trips, audit finds

    Jones was "Minority Outreach Coordinator" for Hutchinson's 2014 gubernatorial campaign. The governor first named him as policy director before placing him over the labor department instead in Jan. 2015, soon after taking office.
  • 83-year-old man shot and killed by Pope County sheriff deputy

    The Arkansas State Police issued more information this morning about the officer-involved shooting in Pope County yesterday. The individual shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy was Quinton Phillips, 83, of Dover.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation