The Thirsty Beagle: Legislative update: Action on SJR 68, SB 383 and SB 424

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Legislative update: Action on SJR 68, SB 383 and SB 424

Another day at the Legislature, and another day of activity on Oklahoma's three major alcohol reform measures.

Here's a quick recap:

Senate Joint Resolution 68: Two matching House amendments were floated Wednesday. They both would require that anyone selling alcohol above 3.2% ABW be at least 21 years old. That means there are now four House amendments proposed for SJR 68. On Tuesday, two other amendments were proposed; one that would require those dealing with alcohol to take training on responsible serving and another that would allow liquor stores to sell an unlimited amount of non-alcohol items.

The full House is expected to vote on SJR 68 on Thursday morning, but with the amendments proposed, the measure will need to go back to the Senate, which could then accept or reject the amendments. I have also heard that while the House will vote on SJR 68, it's likely another House amendment will be introduced Thursday -- to strike the measure's title.

That move would require the measure to be returned to committee to have the title restored. It would then need to be returned to the House for another vote. That ultimate vote could be drawn out and not held for several weeks. In fact, it's not unusual for either chamber of the Legislature to hold up an important measure in case it needs a bargaining chip or a little leverage to get something considered or passed by the other chamber sometime later in the session.

The Oklahoman's lead editorial this morning actually summed up this issue nicely.

So, as it appears now, there's a chance we won't know a final outcome of SJR 68 getting or not getting on the election ballot for at least a couple weeks. Of course, things can change fast at the Capitol, so stay tuned.

Senate Bills 383 and 424: Both of these bills on Wednesday were assigned to the House Committee on Alcohol, Tobacco and Controlled Substances. It shows the bills are working their way through the process and that perhaps we're getting closer to seeing the actual and full language for each one.

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