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Aporkalypse

Arkansas Legislature

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There are a number of interesting bills that have passed.

The sales tax on groceries has been halved, state income tax on the lower incomes has been curtailed.

Most of the surplus is going to public schools.

The officials possessive of Arkansas is "Arkansas's".

Two bills currently on the table interested me:

One will allow alcohol sales in grocery stores by wineries making less than 250,000 gallons of wine a year. That will allow the Arkansas-based wineries to continue to sell in Arkansas groceries and prohibit large out of state wineries from doing so while satisfying interestate commerce regulations. It will improve our selection some but unfortunately won't be helping any wine collectors or connoisseurs. It passed the house 90-1 and is now off to the Senate.

HB 2432 is very dangerous. It would remove the allowance that is permitting restaurants to obtain the private club permits once reserved for country clubs and social clubs. It's proposed by a Jonesboro legislator but could have a profound impact on Benton County, preventing any new restaurants from serving alcohol. This would essentially block the Ruth's Chrises of the world from coming up there and push everything south to Fayetteville.

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One Bill to look out for is HB1825:"Creates the Arkansas Public School Law Enforcement Act, authorizing school districts of 2,500 or more students to establish campus police departments." If this passes watch out. Some of these districts will end up with larger police departments than the towns they are in. Who will pay for this? You the taxpayer. We all know that for some superintendents one or two of anything is never enough. I wouldn't be surprised to see SWAT teams set up. How can a local police department compete for manpower when a school will be able to pay local officers more? With Act 115: "Provides a definition of "bullying" and requires that definition be included in school district policies regarding bullying; requires the prohibition of electronic acts of bullying, regardless of whether the act originated away from school property" has already extended the reach of school policies beyond the school itself. Not only do the public schools take up more than half the state budget but now they are trying to take over police powers.

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There are a number of interesting bills that have passed.

The sales tax on groceries has been halved, state income tax on the lower incomes has been curtailed.

Most of the surplus is going to public schools.

The officials possessive of Arkansas is "Arkansas's".

Two bills currently on the table interested me:

One will allow alcohol sales in grocery stores by wineries making less than 250,000 gallons of wine a year. That will allow the Arkansas-based wineries to continue to sell in Arkansas groceries and prohibit large out of state wineries from doing so while satisfying interestate commerce regulations. It will improve our selection some but unfortunately won't be helping any wine collectors or connoisseurs. It passed the house 90-1 and is now off to the Senate.

HB 2432 is very dangerous. It would remove the allowance that is permitting restaurants to obtain the private club permits once reserved for country clubs and social clubs. It's proposed by a Jonesboro legislator but could have a profound impact on Benton County, preventing any new restaurants from serving alcohol. This would essentially block the Ruth's Chrises of the world from coming up there and push everything south to Fayetteville.

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Gotta say, I like HB 2432. Anything that acts as a disincentive to folks residing in counties lying on the outside of Pulaski is good news to me.

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One will allow alcohol sales in grocery stores by wineries making less than 250,000 gallons of wine a year. That will allow the Arkansas-based wineries to continue to sell in Arkansas groceries and prohibit large out of state wineries from doing so while satisfying interestate commerce regulations. It will improve our selection some but unfortunately won't be helping any wine collectors or connoisseurs. It passed the house 90-1 and is now off to the Senate.

HB 2432 is very dangerous. It would remove the allowance that is permitting restaurants to obtain the private club permits once reserved for country clubs and social clubs. It's proposed by a Jonesboro legislator but could have a profound impact on Benton County, preventing any new restaurants from serving alcohol. This would essentially block the Ruth's Chrises of the world from coming up there and push everything south to Fayetteville.

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Yeah these are of particular interest to me. I'd really like to be able to order alcohol over the internet. But doubt that will happen. But I really hate the limited selection the distributors allow in the state. I also don't want to have to drive up to Missouri everytime I want to find something 'different'.

On the other bill, I think it would also finally really make a serious push to make some of these counties wet. I've been surprised there hasn't been a bigger move by residents in Benton County to make it wet. But I think something like this would finally get that movement going. But it might help Fayetteville in the short term till they were able to put it to a vote. I wonder what would happen in Falkner and Craighead Counties.

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I'm confused. Are you saying that you would find it preferential if EVERYONE in Arkansas lived in Pulaski County? Don't you think it might get a bit crowded? :blink:

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I think Benton and Faulkner are bound to eventually become wet. This could mean a big push for them if it passed. These were the two fastest growing counties in Arkansas and they don't want growth curbed by lack of quality restaurants.

Craighead, Saline, and Lonoke Cos probably are at least a decade or two away from that kind of change. There's too much opposition in those counties.

That said, there's a reason the leg passed this in the first place. I bet they don't repeal it now.

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I guess it makes sense. I mean it is a bit odd to have so much alcohol available in 'dry' counties. Might as well try to get some of these 'semi-wet' counties actual wet counties. As stated it could actually be a good thing getting the wet movement really going. I guess things are just 'wet' enough that not enough people seem to want to bother. Although I was still rather surprised at the lack of signatures to even try to bring the wet-dry issue in Benton County to a vote again last year.

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A lot of areas in the DFW metro, including most of the city of Dallas as well as Richardson and Plano are technically dry but effectually "damp". It doesn't affect restaurants here but does prevent liquor stores in certain areas. For those that consider liquor stores trashy and magnets for the homeless, etc this is a way to have your cake and eat it, too. Ultimately a lot of non-drinkers will go along because they want a decent steak, shrimp, or pasta and don't want to drive 30 min for it. Plus having decent restaurants is a source of community pride.

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I would like to see Benton County wet to see if they get some nice liquor stores. There's enough money up there that I could perhaps be able to find some nice wines and alcohols and not have to drive to Missouri. There's a few nice ones in Washington County but I'd still like to have some other options. I guess I just get frustrated seeing selections in other parts of the country and knowing I'll never be able to find those back home.

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I understand his philosophy. Keeping Saline, Faulkner, and Lonoke Cos dry is what keeps LR restaurants with hour waits on the weekends and fills Pulaski Co tax coffers. It also helps deter exodus to the suburbs.

I think people living in Cabot, Bryant, and Benton are willing to drive. Those living in Conway aren't, which is why liquor by the drink is bringing in Chili's, Outback, etc after years of waiting for anything decent. Get rid of that and it would probably have an effect on Conway's growth.

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All that makes me think we should have an Arkansas Restaurants thread where we can let folks know all the good places to eat around.

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