The Kentucky senate voted 32 to 4 yesterday to put state limitations on package liquor licenses in wet communities. The senate action comes as the State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board proposes to lift the limitation.
The measure establishes a limit of one retail liquor license for every 2300 citizens. Lebanon Senator Jimmy Higdon says citizens in communities have certain expectations about retail liquor sales. “But if we did what ABC wanted to do, and we allowed ABC to expand the number of licenses, if somebody requested a license and it was a legitimate request, they could grant it, and bypass local governments and what the voters wanted,” said Higdon.
Higdon says the bill did include some compromise allowing for more flexible regulation in communities, like those in Northern Kentucky, which depend heavily on restaurants and tourism. Initially in the bill, ‘by the drink’ licensing for businesses like restaurants and entertainment facilities was taken out of the bill through an amendment.