House Bill 204, to create a new license for beer and wine bottle shops, came before the House Business and Labor Committee this morning. But before anything could happen with the bill, the sponsor, Representative Christy Clark, asked the Committee to table it without a hearing. Given the huge workload during the session, they readily accepted her request.
HB 204 would have permitted true bottle shops without having to go through the gyrations of stocking a minimum of $3,000 of food items to be considered a bona fide grocery store. Limited tasting events were also part of the bill (our full explanation of the bill is here).
When a bill is tabled at the committee level, especially without a hearing, the bill is basically dead and can only be revived in rare circumstances. A sponsor may ask to have a bill be tabled for a variety of reasons. The sponsor may have learned of overwhelming opposition and decided the bill should not occupy any more of the legislature's time. There may be a similar bill in the works by another party. Given the nature of the legislature, it could be part of a deal pertaining to some other piece of legislation, or the result of party politics in a particular area of law.
We have no indication of the reasons in this case, but have asked Representative Clark to comment.
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