JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – After passing the Senate last week and the House General Laws committee, the “beer bill,” which would repeal a prohibition era government regulation on businesses, and allow retail stores to lease small coolers from beer wholesalers is set to be debated in the house.
Some argue the passage of the bill would eliminate government regulations would be harmful to smaller craft brewers, while advocates of the bill say it eliminates unneeded government regulation and will free up more commerce in the state from government overreach.
The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, passed 18-14 last week over the objections of a coalition led by the senate’s leading liberal Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, and Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla.
One of the state’s largest employers, Anheuser-Busch, is a leading advocate of the legislation, while opposition has come from other large brewers around the country and some smaller breweries located within in the state. They feel that only large brewers will be able to afford to lease the coolers, while free market advocates counter that the government shouldn’t be telling retailers who they can lease refrigeration from.
In the House, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Robert Cornejo, sailed through the General Laws committee 10-0 and is now awaiting calendar placement for debate. It’s widely expected that House leadership supports the bill, and it likely to be voted on in the coming days.
Rachael Herndon is the editor at The Missouri Times, and also produces This Week in Missouri Politics, publishes Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosts the #moleg podcast. She joined the Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.
To contact Rachael, email email@example.com, or via Twitter @TheRachDunn.