Above: Sen. McKee presents H.B. 1024 that could expand public drinking in Arkansas.

On Tuesday a bill that could expand public drinking in “entertainment districts” in Arkansas passed in the Senate City, County, and Local Affairs Committee.

H.B. 1024 by Rep. David Ray (R – Maumelle) and Sen. Matt McKee (R – Pearcy) eliminates the provision in Arkansas law that restricts public drinking in “entertainment districts” to cities and towns that collect advertising and promotion taxes on hotels, restaurants, and similar businesses.

The tax provision in current law helps restrict “entertainment districts” to communities where the hospitality and tourism industry is present.

Under H.B. 1024, communities could authorize public drinking in entertainment districts even if the community does not cater toward hospitality and tourism.

That has the potential to expand public drinking across the state.

H.B. 1024 previously failed in the Senate City, County, and Local Affairs Committee.

However, Sen. McKee brought the bill back up for consideration during Tuesday’s committee meeting, and it passed.

Public drinking is a scourge in our state, and H.B. 1024 eliminates an important restriction on communities that conduct public drinking in entertainment districts.

H.B. 1024 now goes to the entire Arkansas Senate for consideration.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.