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Influence

Bottoms up: Bevy of booze bills ready for vote in House

A raft of House bills related to alcoholic beverages, including one dealing with booze-delivery apps, were discussed Wednesday and set up for votes.

Among them, one (HB 667) would expressly allow Floridians to use a smartphone app to order alcoholic beverages for home delivery. It’s supported by Uber, among others.

Delivery through apps such as Drizly and Shipt is already available in the state, but “current law does not address orders received via the internet or other electronic forms of communication,” a staff analysis said.

The Senate companion (SB 1020) has cleared its committees and is ready for the floor.

Another measure (HB 961) would allow beer distributors to give away for free glasses printed with product names and logos—also known as “branded glassware”—to bars and restaurants. Under current law, glasses must be sold.

This is the second year the bill’s been filed, stoking controversy each time.

Those in favor, including small businesses, say it’ll be a help to them to cut down on glasses lost from theft and breakage.

Opponents, including many craft brewers, have countered they won’t be able to afford to keep up with the stream of free glasses from Anheuser-Busch InBev, the makers of Bud Light and Stella Artois.

A Senate companion (SB 1224) also is ready for the floor there.

Still another bill (HB 669) would permit beer advertisements in theme parks, also the second year the bill’s been up.

It too caused controversy, with critics saying it would allow theme parks to “extort” ad dollars from beer companies and ultimately favor Big Beer manufacturers who can pay to put up the biggest and most ads.

Beer makers also could sponsor concerts, other events or attractions at parks. It’s supported by SeaWorld and Universal Orlando.

A Senate companion (SB 822) still has to clear the Rules Committee and is set for hearing there Thursday.

Written By

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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