Indiana lawmakers unveil how they look to close cold beer loophole

Lawmakers are racing to finish bills including budget, roads, and liquor. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – As Indiana lawmakers get set to vote on a cold beer bill, an owner is heated and feels singled out.

After two weeks of debate, Indiana lawmakers revealed final plans Thursday to close a cold beer loophole. It grandfathers businesses who received permits prior to November. After that date, the business must make 60 percent of its profits from people drinking at the business to have cold beer carryout.

Ricker’s has two restaurant liquor licenses. The gas station started to sell made to order burritos.

Because of this, the gas station got a restaurant license from the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC). Some lawmakers don’t agree with ATC’s decision.

For the past two weeks, both chambers have worked on a compromise bill. One thing not mentioned is a summer committee to examine liquor laws.

“Everybody, both sides agree, they need to take a hard look at the laws,” Ricker’s gas station owner, Jay Ricker said. “I’m afraid they’re trying to sweep this under the carpet and not make and not do the changes that they need to.”

“I suspect that most folks who have bonafide restaurants, this is not going to impact their model at all,” House Speaker Brian Bosma said. It may not be in the bill, but lawmakers said they do intend to study the issue, and spend the next two years reviewing liquor laws.

If passed, Ricker’s could keep its license until next April. This gives lawmakers the opportunity to address the issue next session.

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