Politics & Government

Task force on alcoholic beverage laws gives report to Beshear


FRANKFORT — A special panel reviewing Kentucky's alcoholic beverage laws over the past five months issued its final report Friday, saying the state legislature should eliminate "duplicative, confusing and unnecessary licensing laws and regulations."

The Governor's Task Force on Kentucky's Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws submitted its report to Gov. Steve Beshear.

The task force recommends 34 changes to state laws and regulations, but it says much more should be done by future groups to overhaul the state's liquor laws.

"We said from the start that we would only bring to the governor and the General Assembly those issues on which we knew we could build a consensus, and we have done that," said Public Protection Secretary Robert D. Vance, chairman of the task force. "I believe this document is an excellent starting point for consideration of immediate improvements to our laws and regulations."

The task force's recommendations include streamlining and modernizing the licensing process; clarifying regulations for local-option elections, and improving public safety through appropriate legislation.

The 156-page report to the governor also contains information about issues the task force did not tackle, although it says action by future groups is warranted.

Beshear appointed the 22-member task force, made up of industry, legislative and regulatory representatives, in July. The group was divided into three committees — licensing, local-option election and public safety.

In addition to meeting several times as committees, the task force held four public forums across the state to gather residents' input and answer questions about its work.

Kentucky has more than 13,000 licenses issued to manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for alcoholic beverages, with more than 80 license types to regulate those operations.