GOVERNOR STUDIES CONVIENCE STORE LIQUOR BILL
(Des Moines) Harlan Republican Senator Nancy Boettger opposes a bill that makes it easier for convenience stores to sell hard liquor. The bill passed in the Iowa Senate Wednesday on a 33 to 14. The Senate turned down an effort to let Des Moines City council approve the new liquor licenses for stores in crime-ridden neighborhoods. If Governor Branstad signs the bill into law, convenience stores will no longer be required to have a separate entrance to the area where they sell the hard liquor.
Boettger says it will make it too easy for underage customers to buy liquor.
Only about 50 convenience stores sell hard liquor now. The Alcoholic Beverage Commission says it is hard to estimate how many more stores would begin selling distilled spirits if the bill becomes law.
One proponent of the bill says city elected officials know where the problems are. But, the bill’s advocates say it’s too expensive for mom and pop stores in smaller communities to provide the separate entrances, and they say the change will be good for competition.
A spokesman for Governor Branstad says he’s studying the bill and hasn’t decided whether to support or oppose it.