One of two ABW bills makes deadline with room to spare (Updated with Bryant remarks)
One of the two bills that would increase the alcohol-by-weight content in beer from 5 percent to 8 percent has met a major deadline.
Senate Bill 2878 was sent to the House floor by the Ways and Means Committee Tuesday morning. The deadline for committees to report general bills that originated in the opposite chamber is April 3.
House Bill 1422, which is identical to SB 2878, still sits in two Senate committees, Economic Development and Tourism, meaning it has to clear both to reach the floor. Folks with Raise Your Pints seem optimistic that will happen, with good reason: The Senate bill that cleared House Ways and Means Tuesday cleared each of those committees before it made it to the House.
The next deadline one or both of the bills will have to meet is April 11, the last day for floor action on general bills that originated in the opposite chamber.
The best news, though, is that since the bills are identical, it’s likely they will avoid a conference committee, and be sent straight to Gov. Phil Bryant’s desk. Bryant said in January, and has reiterated a few times since, that he isn’t “necessarily opposed” to signing the legislation.
If and when Tuesday the House ABW bill clears one or both of the Senate committees, I’ll update. As they have for the past month or so, though, things are looking good for the craft beer movement.
UPDATE: SB 2878 has cleared the House and has been sent to Gov. Phil Bryant. I’ve emailed his spokesperson to see what Bryant might do with it. When I get a response, I’ll post it.
SECOND UPDATE: Bryant spokesman Mick Bullock just emailed a short statement. It said, “Gov. Bryant will review the measure after it has been transmitted to him by the Legislature.”
Like his predecessor, we probably won’t know what Bryant will do until he actually does it.