HB 2660 (liquor licensing; processes; procedures) signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey on June 7, 2022
BWDA's legislative advocacy leads to yet another consensus bill to enhance the functionality of the 3-tier system
HB 2660, sponsored by a great friend to the business community, Rep. Jeff Weninger (R, Chandler), came out of a six-month industry stakeholders’ process led by Steve Barclay, BWDA’s Executive Director, and involving the AZ Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (DLLC). The changes proposed in the bill were consensus items with support from the industry and approval of the DLLC. During the process, we met in good faith with other interest groups like the cities and towns to address their questions and made changes to secure broad acceptance of the bill.
The changes contained in HB 2660 were intended to improve our current three-tier system of laws, allow the industry to continue operating in a well-regulated manner that protects consumers and communities without slowing business growth and competition.
Key components of the 2022 bill include:
- It clarifies that all types of licensees allowed to hold an alternating proprietorship are under one statute, ARS Section 4-243.03, and makes conforming changes.
- Under the bill, a regional shopping center or a commercial office and retail center are authorized, on behalf of retail licensees located there, to apply for an extension of licensed retail premises to allow patrons to consume spirituous liquor throughout a designated pedestrian area of the center. A similar privilege is provided for smaller retail licensees to seek extensions of their premises.
- The process for seeking a designated pedestrian area includes submission of plans and review by the local governing body; it exists today under a DLLC pilot.
- It also would amend ARS Section 4-207 to exclude churches from the non-discretionary automatic ban on licensing of retail premises. Churches today often secure special event licenses to serve or auction alcohol. A church (or any other neighbor) within a mile radius could still protest a license application.
- It provides a rulemaking exemption to the DLLC for implementing the mixed cocktails to go laws from last session.
- It provides that the duty of a licensee to protect the safety of a customer or other person does not limit the licensee from using reasonable intervention, reasonable restraint or reasonable removal of a person from the premises to prevent that person from injuring another person or disrupting the premises.
- It excludes dispensing or tapping machines or equipment from the definition of promotional items which may be provided by a wholesaler to an on-sale retailer.
- It also authorizes the Governor to issue an executive order that extends the closing time of liquor licensees until 3 AM for spirituous liquor sales in connection with a professional or collegiate national sporting championship event held in Arizona.
Here's a link to HB 2660, as enacted, and a fact sheet prepared by legislative staff
BWDA also led successful advocacy efforts on stakeholder-driven concensus bills enacted in 2019 (HB 2281, pictured below) and 2021 (HB 2050). The COVID-19 pandemic abbreviated the 2020 legislative session, so that year's industry bill didn't get enacted (as was true for many other bills).
On behalf of BWDA, Steve Barclay also led the lobbying effort to enact into law in 2015 the “Arizona Beer Bill” (SB 1030, pictured below), to modernize Arizona’s laws for microbreweries and foster further growth of that exciting business sector around our state. For his efforts, Steve was nominated by the Arizona Capitol Times as Best Lobbyist – Male in 2015, and BWDA along with the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild won an award for the Best Grassroots Campaign.