Georgia HR 1345 filed to create Craft Beer study committee

Georgia Representative Michael Caldwell
Rep. Michael Caldwell

UPDATE 03/23/16: HR 1345 is dead, it was not brought up for a vote in Special Rules Committee.  Rep. Caldwell had 91 co-sponsors on the bill, more than half of the House.  I realize nothing in politics is a slam dunk, but these seemed as close as you could get in my opinion.  Well-played, Georgia’s legislative leaders, you got me again.

Yesterday Rep. Michael Caldwell (R-Woodstock) filed Georgia HR 1345 to create The House Study committee on Craft Brewery and Distillery Competitiveness.  I spoke with Rep. Caldwell today about what this means for Georgia beer.

If passed, the Study Committee will be tasked with studying alcohol beverage laws in sister states with laws different from our own, with 48 of them there is plenty to study.  The goal is to present ways that other states are doing things that differently than Georgia and have impacted positive change within those states.  The Study Committee would then present those findings as recommendations for changes in our laws.  As I am aware, there has not been a case where a Study Committee’s findings haven’t impacted changes. EDIT:  I spoke to someone who clarified this for me.  There are study committee findings that are sometimes ignored all together.  However, if the study committee findings do result in the presentation of a bill it is unlikely that bill would not pass.

The bill has overwhelming support with a majority (91) members of the Georgia House signing as co-sponsors.  For this resolution not to pass a vote that would mean some of the co-sponsors would have to vote against it.  I’m told that although some Representatives chose not to sign as co-sponsors they have voiced they would vote in favor of the resolution.  Two things that could be very helpful are that the resolution does not have to go to the Senate to be voted on and it does not have to be completed by crossover day, just the end of the session.

UPDATE 03/09/16: HR1345 is on the agenda for discussion in today’s meeting of the House Special Rules Committee from 3:00 – 4:00 PM.

UPDATE 2 – 03/09/16: HR1345 was discussed in Special Rules Committee today.  I was not able to attend but watched the live stream.  Audio was very low, here are the comments/questions that I could make out.

  • Comment/question about DoR/GCBG talks
  • Rep. Rakestraw mentioned she has a constituent that has a brewery near AL state line and they’ve said they could move across the state line and make more money, she’s in favor of the study committee
  • Another Rep mentioned she is not a beer drinker but is in favor of the committee as she understands the commerce side of things.
  • One Rep mentioned he has major concerns about alcohol access by minors and he has concerns about working to sell more beer (paraphrasing, hard to hear)

Overall comments seemed positive and the discussion seemed to indicate a favorable view of the study committee.

Georgia HR 1345
Georgia HR 1345 was filed Thursday, February 11, 2016 by Rep. Michael Caldwell (R-Woodstock) to create the Georgia .  It received an astounding 91 co-sponsors, a majority of the Georgia House.


We will update this post with additional information as HR 1345 progresses.

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