HERALD-LEADER FRANKFORT BUREAU
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear created a task force Wednesday to study Kentucky’s alcoholic beverage control laws.
“Many groups, including licensees, state regulators, law enforcement and private citizens have called for statutory reform of our alcoholic beverage laws. They agree that Kentucky’s current laws do not adequately account for a 21st-century economy and standard of law,” Beshear said in a statement.
“A task force that includes members from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and professions is best suited to identify the problems, debate policy and make recommendations for improvements.”
Beshear noted that Kentucky has more than 13,000 licenses issued to manufacturers, distributors and retailers for alcoholic beverages. There are more than 70 different license types to regulate those operations, he said, adding that these businesses not only generate millions of dollars for the Kentucky economy every year but also attract tourists.
The 20-member Governor’s Task Force on the Study of Kentucky’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws will focus on the number and types of alcohol licenses issued by the state and what activities each license should authorize; the effectiveness of local option election law; and the enhancement of public safety and compliance with government regulations.
The task force will consist of government officials and one representative from each of the following Kentucky organizations: Mothers against Drunk Driving; Kentucky Association of Counties; Kentucky League of Cities; the Liquor Retail Coalition; the Restaurant Association; Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Inc.; the Distillers’ Association; the Vineyard Society; Beer Wholesalers’ Association; Malt Beverage Council; and a representative from a licensed microbrewery.
Public Protection Secretary Bob Vance will serve as chair of the task force.
It is to hold three statewide forums to collect comments from the public. A report with recommendations is due to Beshear in January.