On the last day of its regular 121-day session, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill allowing businesses like the Alaska State Fair and others to continue selling alcohol.
Several business and venues across the state were caught off guard when the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board began denying recreational site license renewals last year, saying they did not meet the criteria in state law.
“We were very happy with the outcome that the Alaska State Fair was able to be grandfathered in,” said Jerome Hertel, general manager of the Alaska State Fair .
The bill was introduced by Soldotna Republican Sen. Peter Micciche, initially just to address the state fair.
As the bill progressed, more businesses came forward with similar dilemmas.
“The bill started slim, it grew and then went on a diet in the last couple of days,” Micciche said. “So it got back to our original intent, and that was to save businesses that were at risk because of the board’s recent actions on recreational site licenses.”
Juneau Democratic Rep. Sara Hannan introduced an amendment Wednesday to include Eaglecrest Ski Area in Juneau.
The alcohol board denied Eaglecrest’s application to sell beer and wine last fall, even though several other ski areas in the state were already selling alcohol.
The Legislature will revisit SB 52 next year.
Erika McConnell, director of the state Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, said the alcohol board plans to revisit the denied license renewals at its next meeting after Gov. Mike Dunleavy signs SB 16 into law.
The board’s next meeting is July 9.
Dunleavy spokesman Matthew Shuckerow said the administration is focusing on broad legislation related to crime and the state budget right now and does not know when the bill will be signed.
- An Alabama woman visiting Juneau became the first person with Down syndrome to sing the national anthem in all 50 states on Monday.
- The bill would accept $89 million in vetoes, including $20 million in cuts to the University of Alaska, a $49 million cut to school bond debt reimbursement and a $20 million cut to rural school construction.
- Seven minority-caucus Republicans voted against it and four were absent, leaving the bill one vote short of the level the state constitution requires to draw from reserves.
Dozens of convicted criminals have been hired as cops in rural Alaska. Sometimes, they’re the only applicants.In one village, every cop has been convicted of domestic violence within the past decade, including the chief. Only one has received formal law enforcement training of any kind.