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RI Legislative News: Session Bills Concerning Alcohol in 2015

Bills Concerning Alcohol Featured in 2015 House and Senate

Rhode Island General Assembly votes mid-Februaryri gen assembly logo

By Lauren Daley

A number of bills concerning alcohol are going before the Rhode Island General Assembly during the 2015 legislative session. Here is a brief rundown of proposals that could impact the state’s beverage industry. Feb. 12 is the deadline for lawmakers to submit legislation, with votes scheduled for March 2015. The Beverage Journal will follow these bills and others as they are submitted and reported. Current industry bills of note:

House Bill 5253: This act would amend Section 3-5-16 of the General Laws to remove the prohibition of the town of Barrington from issuing Class A licenses. The act was introduced by Rep. Joy Hearn and Rep. Jan Malik on Jan. 29 and was referred to the House Municipal Government.

Read text of the bill here.

House Bill 5178: This act would permit class A liquor retail license holders to elect on four (4) occasions annually to serve unlimited samples of wine products that are available for purchase from the licensee’s outlet. This act would take effect upon passage. Introduced by Rep. John M. Carnevale, Rep. Raymond A. Hull, Rep. William W. O’Brien, Rep. Daniel P. McKiernan and Rep. Joseph S. Almeida on Jan. 21. It was referred to House Corporations Committee.

Read text of the bill here.

Senate Bill 0047: This act would prohibit the use of direct cash assistance funds held on Electronic Benefit Transfer cards for the purchase of alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, tobacco products and certain other products and services. The act would further provide for penalties for violations of the act and would take effect upon passage. Introduced by Sen. Louis P. DiPalma, Sen. Daniel DaPonte, Sen. Ryan W. Pearson, Sen. Frank A. Ciccone III and Sen. Christopher Scott Ottiano on Jan. 13. Referred to Senate Finance Committee.
Read text of the bill here: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/billtext15/senatetext15/s0047.htm

House Bill 5018: This act would prohibit a recipient of direct cash assistance on electronic benefit cards from utilizing that benefit card at liquor stores, casino gaming facilities, tattoo parlors, firearm dealers and various other adult entertainment establishments, and would establish penalties for violations by recipients.
This act would also prohibit store owners from accepting the benefit card for the purchase of the above items and provides for penalties for violations, and would create a new criminal offense deeming such offenses as “fraud against the department of human services.” It would take effect upon passage and was introduced by Rep. Arthur J. Corvese, Rep. Helio Melo, Rep. John G. Edwards, Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro and Rep. Jan Malik on Jan. 8 and referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Read full text here.

House Bill 5250: This act would prohibit eligible recipients of direct cash assistance from using direct cash assistance funds for the purchase of alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, or tobacco products. It further requires eligible recipients of direct cash assistance who make a purchase in violation of this act to reimburse the department for such purchases. This act would take effect upon passage. Introduced by Rep. Patricia L. Morgan, Rep. Daniel Reilly, Rep. Antonio Giarrusso, Rep. Robert A. Nardolillo and Rep. Sherry Roberts on Jan. 29. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Read full text of bill here.

Senate Bill 0139: This act would permit Class A liquor retail license holders to elect on four (4) occasions annually to serve unlimited samples of wine products that are available for purchase from the licensee’s outlet. This act would take effect upon passage. Introduced by Sen. Paul V. Jabour, Sen. Frank S. Lombardi, Sen. Michael J. McCaffrey, Sen. James E. Doyle and Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley on Jan. 22 and referred to the Senate Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs.

Read the full text of the bill here.

House Bill 5081: This act would create a Wine Direct Shipper License for licensed producers in this or any state to directly ship a limited amount of wine to residents age 21 or older for personal consumption with oversight by the department of business regulation and/or the division of taxation with any violations punishable as a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1,500 and/or imprisonment for a period of up to one year. This act would take effect upon passage. Introduced by Rep. Brian C. Newberry, Rep. Daniel Reilly, Rep. John G. Edwards and Rep. Michael W. Chippendale on Jan. 14 and referred to the House Corporations Committee.

Read the full text of the bill here.

House Bill 5189: This act would make the possession or sale of powdered alcohol a crime punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment. This act would take effect upon passage. The act was introduced by Rep. Lauren Carson, Rep. Joseph M. McNamara, Rep. John E. Fogarty, Rep. David A. Bennett and Rep. Mia A. Ackerman on Jan. 21 and referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Read full text of bill here.

Senate Bill 0120: This act would prohibit the use of direct cash assistance funds held on Electronic Benefit Transfer cards for the purchase of alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, tobacco products and certain other products and services. The act would further provide for penalties for violations of the act. This act would take effect upon passage. Introduced by Sen. Nicholas D. Kettle, Sen. Marc A. Cote, Sen. Elaine J. Morgan, Sen. Dennis L. Algiere and Sen. Christopher Scott Ottiano on Jan. 22 and referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

Read full text of bill here.

The Beverage Journal will be following these bills throughout the legislative session. For more, visit the RI General Assembly bill tracker site.

What’s important to you? Tell us. Write to the editor. dana@thebeveragejournal.com
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