The Thirsty Beagle: SQ 791 won't make November election ballot

Monday, August 29, 2016

SQ 791 won't make November election ballot

After thinking at one point earlier this year that we may end up with four or five alcohol-related items on the November election ballot, we are now down to just one.

State Election Board officials on Monday said the window for adding state questions to the general election ballot is now closed. The ballots -- if they are not already -- will be on their way to the printer by Tuesday.

That means State Question 792, known earlier as Senate Joint Resolution 68, will be the only alcohol measure on the ballot.

The final remaining competitor for a spot on the ballot was State Question 791, which had been proposed by some of the state's liquor store owners. With the deadline to have the ballots printed having arrived, proponents have not turned in the signatures needed to get the petition on the ballot.

Moving forward, this may not be the last you hear of the proposition known as SQ 791. Proponents started collecting signatures on Aug. 2 and according to the Secretary of State, they have until 5 p.m. Oct. 31 to continue to collect signatures.

If they get the nearly 124,000 signatures required to get a Constitutional amendment on the ballot, they could then look toward a later election. Or they could request a special election, although the costs for that would be prohibitive and in the state's current budget situation, it's unlikely the governor would sign off.

So what about SQ 792? If voters approve the measure in November, that will amend the portion of the Oklahoma constitution dealing with alcohol laws and in turn activate Senate Bill 383, which spells out much of the new alcohol landscape in statute.

The SQ 792/SB 383 combo, if approved, would go into effect in October 2018. In the meantime...

We had some other legislation go into effect recently. You may have heard about Senate Bill 424?

Yes, the brewery sales bill went into effect on Friday, and by all accounts the day was received quite warmly.

Every craft brewery in the Oklahoma City area was jam-packed with beer fans. I had a chance to make it out to Roughtail, and people were lined up out the door in a thunderstorm to buy a pint or fill their growler. (Not exaggerating about the thunderstorm, as anyone who was there can attest.) Customer after customer walked out of the brewery with cases of canned beer. (Also not exaggerating.) One can only assume Roughtail made an absolute killing on Friday night.

And I assume the same can be said of the other breweries as well. Based on social media accounts and a few conversations I've had after the fact, it appears a safe bet. The challenge now will be sustaining that kind of momentum when the shine of SB 424 begins to wear off.

I think we've already seen what the strategy will be. Both Roughtail and American Solera made brewery-only bottles or cans. I even noticed Roughtail's Paternalism and Oats N' Ho's (enjoying one of those right now) did not have bar codes on them.

Another brewer told me they are scheduling out brewery-only draft releases featuring special variants of one or more of their mainline beers. Clearly that will be the strategy to watch -- brewers will need to continue to give consumers a good reason to get out to the brewery.

1 comment:

  1. Would you do a followup post about the content of 791?