Rep. Arnold Simpson wants to end the ban of alcohol sales on election day

07/13/2012 02:23 PM

Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington, wants to see the ban on the sale of alcohol on election day to come to an end.

Simpson testified before legislators of the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations on Friday. Simpson told the group that the ban is costing the state of Kentucky and businesses a significant amount of money in lost sales.

In a letter to the committee, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States estimated that the commonwealth’s treasury loses over $600,000 a year in sales tax revenues as a result of the ban. In addition, it estimated that it costs state restaurants, bars and retail stores an estimated $4.5 million in lost revenue.

Simpson says that the law, which dates back to the early 20th century, doesn’t make sense in 2012 and only succeeds in hurting Kentucky’s businesses and potential state revenue.

Kentucky and South Carolina are the only two states which still prohibits the sale of alcohol on election day.

Senator John Shickel, R-Union, agreed with Simpson that the ban makes no sense and only hurts many small businesses as well as tax revenue for the commonwealth.

Shickel pledged to work with Simpson to get the bill passed during the 2013 legislative session.

Stacy Roof, President and CEO of the Kentucky Restaurant Association says that her group has been fighting the ban for years. She estimates that the prohibition of alcohol on election day hurts business sales up to 43 percent.

She says that the law is outdated and serves no useful purpose.

Simpson says that the proposed legislation would not affect the dry communities which ban all sales of alcohol. The law would also allow local communities the option of still banning alcohol on election day if they so desired.

Simpson plans to introduce the bill during the 2013 legislative session.


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