Notice anything odd about Georgia’s beer laws compared to its neighbors?
Settling is in quotes for a reason. After getting royally screwed by a confusing and rather silly piece of legislation last year, craft brewers in Georgia were screwed far worse when the state Department of Revenue issued new guidelines late last year that effectively rendered the new law moot.
The issue at hand? Whether breweries can directly sell beer to customers, eschewing the ironclad three-tier system that’s run Georgia since the repeal of prohibition in the 1930s. Rather than direct sales to customers, allowed in 46 other states, the legislation passed last year required brewers to sell tours at varying prices. “Tours” would include a small amount of beer to drink on premises and up to 72 ounces to take home. However, the Dept. of Revenue put the kibosh on that when they issued new rules last year, telling brewers they couldn’t have variable prices for tours. One set price. Anything else was against the law.
Brewers were rightfully outraged and this year, the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild threatened to file new legislation that could upend Georgia’s three-tier system and possibly allow direct sales to customers. Distributors were furious, legislators were likely nervous they would lose hefty campaign contributions from distributors if they supported such legislation, and therefore a compromise was worked out. Brewers could once again go back to the strange tour system set up in last year’s SB 63.
Hardly a victory.
During the 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly, lawmakers finally legalized fireworks. Not sparklers, which had long been allowed in Georgia, but legitimate fireworks. Bottle rockets, mortars, and other fun explosives would finally be sold and taxed in Georgia, ending necessary pilgrimages into neighboring states to buy fireworks. What thrilled many Georgians who enjoy risking their fingers, faces, and other body parts to lit fireworks on Independence Day and New Years upset Georgians across the state, who didn’t welcome the new law with open ears or eyes.
Since every single Georgian obeyed the previous ban on fireworks and never once launched a bottle rocket, lit a firecracker, or watched a mortar light up the night sky, many were shocked, outraged, and very upset by the noise caused by fireworks on July 4th–along with the days immediately before and after America’s birthday. Calls were launched to strongly regulate–or ban–fireworks, because dogs, children, and the sensitive ears of adults were hurt by this new, foreign sound.
Is Georgia soon-to-be blue? | MSNBC.
Great clip from last night’s “All In with Chris Hayes”.
Georgia’s turning blue faster than anyone thinks, despite rhetoric to the contrary. Georgians of all stripes are sick and tired of getting left behind. If you’re interested in learning about Georgia’s new Moral Monday, feel free to check out their Facebook page for more info.
Next year’s gubernatorial contest in Florida will be a hotly contested race, with near-record amounts of money spent by incumbent governor Rick Scott’s campaign and his likely Democratic challenger, former Republican governor, Charlie Crist. A major issue that is just starting to surface is the role medical marijuana might play in who governs the Sunshine State from 2015 through early 2019.
Supporters of medical marijuana legalization are pushing a petition throughout state, attempting to acquire the 700,000 necessary signatures to get the issue on the ballot next year. With over 200,000 signatures in the bank, it appears likely that pot will find itself at the forefront of state politics. Rick Scott, along with incumbent attorney general Pam Bondi (also a Republican) have both publicly opposed the effort to legalize medicinal pot in Florida, while Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich has come out in favor of the measure, and Crist is “open” to the idea.