Phase-out of ABC stores dies in the Senate

Legislation that would have phased out retail alcohol sales at the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board’s 186 state stores by Oct. 1 2022, was ready for debate by the full Senate, but the Senate never considered it.

The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday, March 8, approved SB260 by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur.

Why is the state competing against private retailers?” Orr asked the committee members.

He said the state currently has 600 private liquor stores and 186 state-owned stores.

Previous attempts to get the state out of retail liquor sales, including the most recent in 2015, also have failed to gain legislative approval.

Orr pointed out several changes from his previous bill, including allowing a retail liquor license holder to sell up to two cases of liquor per day to other licensees, such as bars and restaurants.

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