by Anna Manning
Carolina Journal‘s John Trump writes for Daily Journal:
Lawmakers this session have filed what amounts to a jumble of bills designed to ease restrictive Prohibition-era rules enacted in the first half of the 20th century. These bills, including an omnibus measure filed Tuesday in the House, would allow distillers to sell spirituous liquor directly to consumers in other states and remove limits on sales to customers visiting one of the nearly 60 craft distilleries in the state.
The bills would authorize public colleges and universities to allow the sale of alcohol at stadiums, athletic facilities, and arenas on school property. They would allow distillers to serve mixed drinks, for brewers to more freely distribute their beer, and for communities to decide whether they want liquor sold on Sundays.
But these bills, at least so far, have failed to address the rabid coyote in the corner. About 170 politically entrenched boards, which operate loosely under the auspices of the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, oversee the distribution, sale, and revenue from alcohol in cities and counties throughout the state. As we’ve written — again and again — these boards distribute some money from alcohol sales to another set of politicians in respective communities, though there’s really no clear formula for that distribution or uniform targets for the money. The funding has become a sort of entitlement, and communities used to that money are seeing it disturbed by what has become a steady political breeze.
They’re feeling threatened and are rallying in support of the status quo.
Read more here.