Senator Bill Ketron and Representative Bill Sanderson have filed a bill (Senate Bill 556/House Bill 1294) that would expand the Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Currently, there are three (3) members, one (1) selected from each grand division of the state by the governor. The commission members must be at least thirty (30) years old, have been residents and citizens of the state for at least five (5) years , one (1) person must be least 60 years of age and one (1) person shall be a member of a racial minority. This bill would add two (2) more members, which would result in a five (5) member commission. The governor would still get to appoint three (3) members and the racial diversity requirements and age requirements remain the same, but the speaker of the house and the speaker of the senate would also each get to appoint one (1) member.
The proposed bill would also change compensation for the commission members. Currently, the commission members are paid $6,000 annually. It is broken down into monthly payments of $500 and the payment is made regardless of whether the commission member attends the monthly meeting. In addition, commission members are reimbursed for all actual and necessary expenses. If this bill passes, commission members would not receive compensation, other than reimbursement for travel and per diem expenses. Another change included in this bill is that a commission member may be removed if they miss more than fifty (50%) of the scheduled meetings. The statute currently only allows for removal of a commission member for cause, including malfeasance and nonfeasance.
Please check back for legislative updates. We are following all alcohol bills closely.