INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Eric Holcomb signed 10 bills on Tuesday, including a piece of legislation that will close the “cold-beer loophole” used by Ricker’s convenience stores.
The loophole used by two of Ricker’s stores allowed them to operate as restaurants, in which they were able to sell cold carryout alcohol.
Holcomb signed the Alcohol Matters bill that states, “after May 14, 2017, a restaurant may not sell carryout unless at least 60 percent of its gross retail income from alcoholic beverage sales is derived from sales of alcoholic beverages consumed on the premises.”
“I sign this bill with the understanding we need to review and make common-sense changes to Indiana’s alcohol laws,” said Holcomb.
.@GovHolcomb signs Ricker's/cold beer bill; "understanding we need to review and make common-sense changes to Indiana's alcohol laws." @rtv6
Jay Ricker's, chairman of Ricker's, released a statement shortly after the bill was signed:
“While we believe this bill merited a veto, we are heartened by Governor Holcomb’s statement that Indiana’s ridiculous and restrictive liquor laws need a common sense review. Throughout this year’s legislative session, Ricker’s has been targeted by anti-free market forces whose sole objective is to limit the choices of Hoosier consumers. We never stopped fighting them and their powerful interests, and with public sentiment clearly on our side, we will continue this fight back in our communities and into next year’s legislative session.”
In December 2015, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Indiana's law restricting the sale of cold beer in convenience stores and grocery stores.
Ricker's chairman: thinks bill merited a veto, but "heartened" by Gov's statement that common sense review of IN's liquor laws needed @rtv6
Holcomb also signed a bill that will ban net metering by 2027 and limit the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s compensations for customers with solar installations.
“I support solar as an important part of Indiana’s comprehensive energy mix,” said Holcomb. “I understand the concerns some have expressed, but this legislation ensures that those who currently have interests in small solar operations will not be affected for decades.”