RD127 - Report of the Special Joint Subcommittee of the House Committee on General Laws and the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services Studying Certain Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Laws
Year after year, there is a growing concern that legislation creating new alcoholic beverage control (ABC) license categories and expanding the privileges of existing licensees is being done in a piecemeal fashion. In addition, the General Assembly has seen many bills attempting to modify the minimum monthly food sale and the food-to-beverage ratio requirements for newly established mixed beverage licenses. Many felt that a holistic review of the current ABC retail licensing scheme was needed. Recognizing this need, the Chairs of the House Committee on General Laws and the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services, Delegate Todd Gilbert and Senator Bryce Reeves, respectively, elected to convene a special joint subcommittee during the 2016 interim to study certain recurring alcoholic beverage control (ABC) issues and concerns. Specifically, the Special Joint Subcommittee was tasked to study whether (i) the food-to-beverage ratio and the minimum monthly food sale requirement imposed on mixed beverage restaurant and other mixed beverage licensees is appropriate to meet both the regulatory goals of the Commonwealth and the licensees' concerns relating to the operation of their businesses; (ii) retail cigar shops should be eligible for a mixed beverage license; and (iii) certain nonretail "boutique" licenses found in § 4.1-206, including day spas, meal assembly kitchens, and art instruction studios, could be consolidated under a single license created for this purpose.
In addition, the 2016 Session of the General Assembly referred several bills to this study for examination by the Special Joint Subcommittee. The bills, which were generally related to the study issues of the Special Joint Subcommittee, included HB 171 (Albo), HB 219 (Taylor), HB 835 (Greason), HB 904 (Landes), SB 373 (Ebbin), SB 410 (Barker), SB 488 (DeSteph), and SB 489 (DeSteph).(*1)
(*1) Summaries of these bills are included in Appendix A.