County judges oppose alcohol sales amendment | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

County judges oppose alcohol sales amendment

Posted By on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Arkansas county judges have adopted a resolution in opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize alcohol sales in all 75 Arkansas counties.

Of course they did. The news release didn't reveal the vote but 37 of Arkansas's 75 counties are dry (not counting private clubs). And several counties that are wet (think Conway, Greene and Poinsett, particularly) get a huge amount of revenue from liquor stores that profit from having more populous dry counties next door.

The judges say alcohol sales should be a "local control" decision. It's a silly argument that applies to few areas of government control — from guns to abortion to education.

The judges also have raised what is certain to be a campaign issue, though it is a stretch. Opponents will say the amendment could impact regulations that limit, for example, sales near schools in churches. Sponsors say the legislature still will have broad power to regulate sales, just not prohibit them entirely in a jurisdiction.

The leader of the judges is Michael Lincoln of dry White County. (But you can rent a fully automatic M-16 to celebrate a birthday there.)

UPDATE: I'm informed the judges voted by the wimp route — voice vote. There was one audible no, according to Lincoln out of 54 judges present.

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