Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Booze, the Utah Legislature, and all that Jazz


Senate Republicans now are trying to stop alcoholic drinks from being poured in front of minors in restaurants, their latest attempt to thwart Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s plans to ease the state's liquor laws.

The governor said Monday he believes there will be progress toward his goal of making Utah more tourist-friendly, but acknowledged there likely will be trade-offs.

"The good news is that it's even being discussed in the first place, because it represents we're not maintaining the status quo," Huntsman said.

But that's exactly what Senate Republicans have said they want. The majority Senate GOP caucus has already opposed Huntsman's proposal to eliminate private club memberships.

On Wednesday, the Administrative Rules Committee will consider whether the existing barriers intended to separate restaurant customers from alcoholic drink preparations are enough — even though Huntsman has questioned their necessity.

"Restaurants are turning into bars," Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, said. "It's making it look attractive. Kids see it and wonder what they're missing. I think we need to be a little more strict."

I wonder what the difference is between Johnny seeing a drink at a restaurant and a Jazz game. Will we soon have to erect walls around the beer stands at EnergySolutions Arena?


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