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A member of the Alabama Beverage Control Board grabbed a fellow committee member and said, “Hey, kill this S.O.B’s bill … today!” – Harbison Wants State Stop Competing Against Private Retailers

Harbison Wants State Stop Competing Against Private Retailers

Harbison Wants State Stop Competing Against Private Retailers

Alabama House District 12 Representative Corey Harbison (R) of Good Hope announced Saturday that he wants the State of Alabama as a government entity to stop engaging in commercial competition against privately-owned retailers and wholesale distributors.

Harbison referred specifically to what he called ‘a racket’ being operated by the Alabama Beverage Control Board with their stable of approximately 180 quasi-monopoly-by-statute retail locations scattered across the State of Alabama. One such outlet exists in Cullman County; it is located at 1114 Cullman Shopping Center NW.

This topic was one of the first issues Harbison tackled as a new legislator in Montgomery.

At that time, he attempted to bring forward a debate on the subject from a House Committee. According to Harbison, he could not even get a vote from the committee to allow it to reach the house floor for a reasonable public debate. Even worse, he states that a member of the Alabama Beverage Control Board grabbed a fellow committee member and said,

“Hey, kill this S.O.B’s bill … today!”

Needless to say, Representative Harbison has not forgotten that experience, nor has he given up on his desire to get the State of Alabama out of the business of competing against its own citizens and taxpayers:

 

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Harbison Wants State Stop Competing Against Private RetailersAbout Alabama Beverage Control Board

Alcohol Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933.

Following this era of Prohibition, each state was individually allowed to decide by legislative action how alcoholic beverages would be managed within its borders.

On the Alabama Beverage Control (ABC) Board website, they state:

“The people of Alabama did not want alcoholic beverages marketed like soup and soft drinks. Recognizing the lethal potential of alcohol, Alabama citizens demanded its rigorous control. The ABC Board was legislatively created to fulfill this mandate.”

 

Harbison Wants State Stop Competing Against Private Retailers

As a result, the ABC Board now controls alcoholic beverages through distribution, licensing, and enforcement. As mentioned above, the ABC Board operates a chain of retail stores selling the majority of liquor purchased in Alabama.

The ABC Board claims their operation:

“… operates in an efficient and cost effective manner to ensure that Alabamians who choose to purchase beverages are able to do so at a fair price while generating considerable revenue for the State and local governing authorities. The facts prove that the system of control in Alabama are working. The State ranks among the nation’s leaders in per capita revenue from the sale of alcohol but does so while maintaining one of the nation’s lowest levels of per capita consumption. High revenue with low consumption. This exactly fulfills the mandate of the people of Alabama.”

The ABC Board also licenses commercial firms to sell alcoholic beverages. such as bars, clubs and restaurants and small stores selling beer for off-premise use.

Again according to their website, the ABC Board also conducts audits, collects taxes, and disburses revenue obtained from those taxes, and disburses revenues from the ABC Stores. Recipients of these funds include the Department of Mental Health, Special Education Trust Fund, Department of Human Resources, and the State General Fund.

 

Harbison Wants State Stop Competing Against Private Retailers

Harbison Wants State Stop Competing Against Private Retailers

Timothy Collins

Originally from Asheville, NC, Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com and/or (256) 615-8260.

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