Mitch Perry Report 4.29.14: Growler bill goes to Senate floor

Posted by Mitch Perry on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 8:33 AM

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Is it really a compromise if only one side likes the deal?

That's what should be kept in mind today as the Florida state Senate votes on Lakeland Republican Kelli Stargel's revised bill (or "strike-all amendment" in Tallahassee parlance) imposing new regulations on craft breweries in exchange for them finally getting the opportunity to sell 64-ounce growlers of their product.

Stargel's previous bill would have required craft brewers who sold more than 1,000 barrels of beer (or 2,000 kegs) to give a piece of the sales of anything above that amount to the beer distributors, who would never actually be doing anything with the beer. But they would get their cut, as a way to still make money since they couldn't actually distribute anything.

Her new bill would allow breweries who sell less than 1,000 barrels of beer to face no regulations. But those that sell more than 1,000 barrels would only be able to sell 20 percent of it in sealed containers to go. Stargel says she believes that 13 or 14 such breweries would fall into that category (including Tampa's Cigar City Brewing).

Stargel said last night on the Senate floor that this bill is hardly anti-entrepreneurial (as some fellow Republicans have charged) because it places no regulations on the smaller craft breweries, and only puts regs on those that are already successful. Nevertheless the craft breweries don't like itl.

"They never came to the table," Stargel said when asked what the breweries think about her bill. She said they didn't want any regulations, but that's never been the case based on what I've reported. "We've listened to their concerns, filed an amendment that does absolutely no harm and allow them to grow," she said. More later...

In other news from Tally: the Senate yesterday did approve the so-called "anti-Sharia law" bill that has been vehemently opposed by Muslim and Jewish organizations in the state. Though there was reportedly a huge re-write of the bill, several activist groups still oppose it.

Jessica Ehrlich will not be the next Democratic nominee for Congress in CD13. The attorney and now Fox News analyst says this is not the time for her to run again for office.

And tomorrow night in St. Petersburg, Rwandan genocide survivor Clemantine Wamariya will speak at the Florida Holocaust Museum. 

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