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RI Legislative News: Bills That Could Impact Your Business

By Lauren Daley

A number of bills concerning the alcoRI State Capital hol industry are going before the Rhode Island General Assembly this 2016 session. Here is a brief rundown of proposals that could impact the state’s beverage industry and their status.

Senate Bill No. 2059: This act would make the possession, purchase, or sale of powdered alcohol a crime punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.)  “Powdered alcohol” means alcohol prepared for sale or other distribution in a dry powder or crystalline or encapsulated in dry or crystalline form for direct consumption or reconstitution.

STATUS: As of Feb. 11, this bill was referred to House Judiciary.

Senate Bill No. 2070: This act would reduce the licensing fee to $500 per year for a distillery producing less than 50,000 gallons per year and provides a tax exemption on the first 50,000 gallons produced by an in-state distiller.

STATUS: This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration March 23.

Senate Bill No. 2072: This act would create a wine direct shipper license to allow for shipment of limited amounts of wine through the mail to eligible customers.

STATUS: This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration March 23.

Senate Bill No. 2239: The act would permits the town of East Greenwich to grant Class B or C liquor licenses located in a Commercial CD-1 zone even though within 200 feet of a school or place of worship.

STATUS: This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration March 23.

Senate Bill No. 2244: This act would provide that on and after 7/1/16, any city or town council would have the authority to exempt said city or town from the prohibition against the issuance of certain alcoholic beverage licenses within 200′ feet of a school or place of public worship.

STATUS: This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration March 23.

Senate Bill No. 2382: This act would permits holders of manufacture’s licenses to sell alcoholic beverages at retail for permits on-site and off-site consumption.

STATUS: This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration March 23.

Senate Bill No. 2651: This bill would authorize the holder of a wholesaler’s Class C license to sell alcohol to manufacturers of food products in connection with the manufacture of such products.

STATUS:  As of Feb. 25, it was referred to Senate Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs.

Senate Bill No. 2701: This would allow the town of East Greenwich to grant a retailer’s Class B license to be located on plat/lot 085 001 212 0000 of the applicable town of East Greenwich tax assessment map.

STATUS: This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration March 23.

Senate Bill No. 2702: This would establish new Class NB (Neighborhood Bar), Class S (Supper Club) and Class SB (Smoking Bar) licenses and also require licensees to cooperate with local licensing boards and law enforcement investigating potential violations.

STATUS: This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration March 23.

Senate Bill No. 2703:  This bill would permit class A liquor retail license holders to elect on four (4) occasions annually to serve unlimited samples of wine products which are available for purchase from the licensee’s outlet.

STATUS:  This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration March 23.

Senate Bill No. 2772: This bill would allow class A liquor retail license holders to serve unlimited samples of wine products available for purchase on one occasion each year.

STATUS:  This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration March 23.

House Bill No. 7015:  This act would permit the town of Lincoln to grant a proposed Class B liquor license within two hundred feet (200′) of a church.

STATUS: As of Jan. 14, Committee recommended the measure be held for further study.

House Bill No. 7016: The act would permits the town of East Greenwich to grant Class B or C liquor licenses located in a Commercial CD-1 zone even though within 200 feet of a school or place of worship.

STATUS:  As of Jan. 14, Committee recommended the measure be held for further study.

House Bill No. 7026: This act would makes the possession, purchase, or sale of powdered alcohol a crime punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000)

STATUS:  This has been placed on the House Calendar for March 24.

House Bill No. 7172: The act prohibits eligible recipients of direct cash assistance from using said funds to purchase alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, tobacco products or other prohibited transactions.

STATUS: As of Feb. 24, the Committee recommended measure be held for further study.

House Bill No. 7266: The bill would reduce licensing fee for distilleries producing less than 50,000 gallons to $500, and grants a manufacturing tax exemption on first 50,000 gallons for instate distribution by RI distilleries.

STATUS: As of Jan. 21, it was referred to House Finance.

House Bill No. 7303: The act would allow for the sale of alcoholic beverages on the premises of a manufacturer of said beverages and the sale of said beverages for off-premises consumption. It would also amend the fee schedule for licenses.

STATUS:  As of Feb. 9, Committee recommended measure be held for further study.

House Bill No. 7469:  The bill would authorize the holder of a wholesaler’s Class C license to sell alcohol to manufacturers of food products in connection with the manufacture of such products.

STATUS: As of Feb. 9, Committee recommended measure be held for further study.

House Bill No. 7499: This bill would allow Class A liquor retail license holders to serve unlimited samples of wine products available for purchase on one occasion each year.

STATUS: As of March 1, Committee recommended measure be held for further study.

House Bill No. 7620: 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 twenty-one (21) or older for personal consumption with oversight by the department of business regulation and/or the division of taxation.

STATUS: This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration on March 22.

House Bill No. 7705: The act allows for the sale of alcoholic beverages on the premises of a manufacturer of said beverages and allows the sale of said beverages for off-premises consumption. It would also amend the fee schedule for these licenses.

STATUS: This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration on March 22.

House Bill No. 7812:  This would allow the city of Providence to issue a Class B, C or I license for use on Plat 109, lot 289, within 200′ feet of a church.

STATUS:  This bill is scheduled for hearing and/or consideration on March 24.

House Bill No. 7953: The act would clarify certain sections dealing with alcoholic beverage licenses and enforcement and would grant Providence the right to establish certain new liquor licenses and regulate live entertainment.

STATUS:  As of March 17, the bill was referred to House Corporations.

Also, two bills were introduced then withdrawn at the bill sponsors’ request.

  • House Bill 7634: The act, entitled “Fair Workweek for Rhode Island,” would require employers to give their employees at least two (2) weeks’ notice of their work schedules. It would also require employers to pay their employees additional pay if they change their previously scheduled shift. Finally, it would grant increased scheduling notice, with corresponding remedies, to employees for violations of their rights. This act would take effect ninety (90) days following enactment provided that in the case of employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement in effect on the effective date prescribed herein, this act would apply on the date of the termination of such agreement.
  • House Bill 7515: The act would require employers to give their employees at least two (2) weeks’ notice of their work schedules. It would also require employers to pay their employees additional pay if they change their previously scheduled shift. Finally, it would grant increased scheduling notice, with corresponding remedies, to employees for violations of their rights. This act would take effect ninety (90) days following enactment provided that in the case of employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement in effect on the effective date prescribed herein, this act would apply on the date of the termination of such agreement.

The Rhode Island Beverage Journal will be following these bills throughout the legislative session. Stay up to date at: http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Pages/Default.aspx

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