Lawmakers seek to reign in bill expanding liquor licenses along lakeshore
By Matt Mikus email@example.com March 14, 2013 1:39PM
Updated: April 16, 2013 4:04PM
INDIANAPOLIS — A legislative effort to expand liquor licenses for businesses near Lake Michigan may see some limitations before moving to the House floor for a vote.
The Public Policy Committee decided not to act on Senate Bill 173, which would offer new liquor licenses for restaurants within three blocks of the lake, and no cap on alcohol permits for restaurants next to the lake.
Committee chairman Rep. Bill Davis, R-Portland, after holding a hearing on the bill Wednesday, decided to make changes before holding a vote. Davis said he’s considering amendments to focus on the development project in Whiting, rather than along the shoreline from Michigan City to the Illinois border.
Under existing law, specific quotas are based on the area population, Davis said. The original bill covered too large an area for the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to determine quotas and regulations.
“Rather than trying to paint it all broad-brush,” he said, “we’re going to sit down and focus on the project that the mayor of Whiting is focused on. It’s a great project, especially for the size of a town like Whiting.”
Sen. Ed Charbonneau, who authored the bill, expected some changes in the House and said he is willing to accommodate revisions if he can.
“Do I think it would be better to be a wider coverage? Yes,” Charbonneau said. “But it’s a question of whether I think I can get it through the House.”