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Commonwealth's Counties

Alcohol beverage reform bill passes House committee

HB 2634 (Hurst), the House vehicle for a major alcohol beverage control law reform, passed the House General Laws Committee on January 24 by a 16-6 vote and will now head to the House Floor for consideration.

The bill’s Senate companion, SB 1110 (Reeves), passed the Senate earlier this week and will be considered by the House in the coming weeks.

The bills, which have been previously written about in Capitol Contact, seek to reform Virginia’s mixed beverage law.  If passed, this legislation would allow the sale of mixed beverages by licensed restaurants and the sale of alcoholic beverages by the Board of Directors of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority in any county, town, or supervisor’s election district unless a referendum is held, and a majority of votes prohibit such sales.

Current law prohibits such sales in a locality unless they have been approved through a local referendum process. These bills would essentially flip a presumption of “dry” to “wet,” while still affording localities the chance to hold a referendum to remain “dry.”

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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