Bill That Could Expand Public Drinking Fails in Senate Committee

Above: Family Council staff member Luke McCoy testifies against H.B. 1024 in the Senate City, County, and Local Affairs Committee.

On Tuesday a bill that could expand public drinking in “entertainment districts” in Arkansas failed to pass 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 make sure that communities establish “entertainment districts” in areas 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.

On Tuesday H.B. 1024 was presented in the Senate City, County, and Local Affairs Committee. Following testimony from members of the public and questions from the senators, the bill failed by a vote of four to four.

The bill could be presented in the committee again at a later date.

Public drinking is a scourge in our state, and we are grateful to the members of the Senate City, County, and Local Affairs Committee for rejecting this bill that could expand public drinking in cities and towns across Arkansas.

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

Committee Advances Bill That Could Expand Public Drinking Locations in Arkansas

On Wednesday the House Rules Committee passed a bill that could expand public drinking in “entertainment districts” across Arkansas.

H.B. 1024 by Rep. David Ray (R – Maumelle) and Sen. Matt McKee (R – Dist. 6) eliminates the provision in Arkansas law that restricts public drinking to cities and towns that collect advertising and promotion taxes on hotels, restaurants, and similar businesses.

The tax provision in current law helps make sure that communities establish “entertainment districts” in areas where the hospitality and tourism industry is present.

Under this bill, 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 now goes to the entire Arkansas House of Representatives for consideration.

Bill Would Expand Municipalities Able to Authorize Public Drinking

The state legislature is set to consider a bill that could expand public drinking in “entertainment districts” across Arkansas.

Act 812 of 2019 lets cities and towns create “entertainment districts” where alcohol can be carried and consumed publicly on streets and sidewalks.

Under Act 812, cities and towns cannot establish a public drinking area unless the community collects advertising and promotion taxes on hotels, motels, restaurants, and similar businesses.

The tax provision helps make sure that communities establish “entertainment districts” in areas where the hospitality and tourism industry is present.

H.B. 1024 by Rep. David Ray (R – Maumelle) and Sen. Matt McKee (R – Dist. 6) eliminates the provision in Arkansas that restricts public drinking to communities that collect advertising and promotion taxes on hotels and restaurants.

Under this bill, 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 in Arkansas.

As we have said time and time again, public drinking is a scourge on the community.

It doesn’t attract new businesses or bolster the economy.

Public drinking raises serious concerns about drunk driving and public safety.

It hurts neighborhoods and families.

Arkansans ought to stay away from anything that would expand public drinking in their communities.

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