Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) listens to testimony in Juneau, Alaska in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy of Peter Micciche)

Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) listens to testimony in Juneau, Alaska in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy of Peter Micciche)

Alcohol regulation bill gets hearing

Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Micciche, R- Kenai/Soldotna, has been nine years in the making.

Sen. Peter Micciche’s efforts to modernize how Alaska regulates alcohol were formally considered on Monday.

Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Micciche, R-Kenai/Soldotna, has been nine years in the making and would overhaul Title 4 of Alaska State Statute, which is the section of state law that addresses alcoholic beverages. The bill was heard before the Senate Finance Committee on Monday morning.

In all, Micciche estimates that more than 120 stakeholders and staff have put more than 16,000 hours of work into the creation of the bill, which was first introduced in 2012.

Micciche said that while not every individual bar owner, brewer and public safety official supports the legislation, many of the organizations that represent them do, including the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association (CHARR), the Brewers Guild of Alaska, Recover Alaska, the Alaska State Troopers and the Public Safety Employees Association.

“At this time of COVID recovery, this is very important for the industry,” Micciche said. “Although alcohol is … the number one substance abuse problem in our state, it’s also a very important industry. [We’ve] struck a balance that improves the public safety aspect, yet provides some tools for the industry to be successful as well.”

Among the priorities identified by stakeholders that are reflected in the legislation are alcohol licensing, the role and function of the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board and youth access to alcohol, Anna Brawley, Agnew Beck Consulting Title Review coordinator, said during a presentation to the committee Monday.

Micciche said Monday that Brawley has been working stakeholders on the legislation for years.

Specifically, the legislation proposes more retail options for alcohol manufacturers, adding endorsements to existing licenses, limiting free samples for package stores, a seasonal restaurant license, more collaboration between the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and regulation of internet alcohol sales.

Alaska is currently one of the only states with no rules for the internet sales of alcohol. Brawley said that makes it difficult to know how much alcohol is coming into the state via internet sales, which jumped over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People in Alaska who order alcohol online also do not pay state excise tax on online purchases, but do pay it on other products sold and purchased in the state.

The final legislation will ultimately need to pass in the Alaska House of Representatives and in the Alaska Senate before it can become law.

The full Senate Finance Committee meeting can be viewed at akleg.gov.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

The badge for the Kenai Police Department (Clarion file)
Walmart briefly evacuated after bomb threat

The investigation is ongoing.

Peninsula Clarion file
Merry voices to fill Kenai chamber

Historical society carolling event returns after hiatus

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State officials urge vaccination as omicron spreads in US

Omicron was first identified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on Nov. 26.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
1 hunter dead, another missing after boat hits rough seas off Whittier

The pair were reportedly hunting on Wednesday on Esther Island in Prince William Sound.

Kenai City Council members James Baisden (left) and Deborah Sounart (right) listen as member Teea Winger (center) speaks in support of legislation opposing government COVID-19 mandates, during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, in Kenai.
Kenai council declares opposition to mask mandates

The statement does not change city code or supersede federal law.

Signage indicates that face masks are required for entry to the Soldotna Public Library on March 25, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Soldotna City Council voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in city facilities. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Masks recommended, not required in Soldotna city buildings

Council amends measure to make mask-wearing optional

Nick Begich III, seen here in this undated photo, is challenging Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives saying Alaska needs new energy in Washington D.C. (Courtesy photo / Alaskans for Nick Begich)
Nick Begich III touts fiscal conservatism in US House race

GOP candidate challenges Young’s record

Sockeye salmon. (Photo via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Fish and Game seeks comment on 2022 sport fish stocking plan

The Sport Fish Division plans to release approximately 7 million fish into the Alaska water systems over the next five years.

A map shows which parts of the Chugach National Forest are open to motorized winter recreation use for the 2021-2022 season. (Map courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Parts of Chugach National Forest open to snowmachine use

The 2021-2022 winter motorized season will run through April 30.

Most Read