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Senate passes bill allowing state fair alcohol sales

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Indiana State Fair visitors would be able to purchase alcohol for the first time since 1947 under a bill passed by the Senate on Thursday.

Senate Bill 168 would allow Indiana breweries and wineries to sell their beverages in a designated area. Those under 21 would not be allowed into the barred off section.

“I think I can stand here and assure you that this will be tightly controlled. This will be Indiana wines, Indiana beers,” said Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis.

The State Fair Commission estimated it would make $110,000 between 2015 and 2016 from the alcohol sales.

But the fair would also have to spend money on more security for the alcohol areas.

Opponents of the bill said the sale of alcohol may hinder the “family-friendly environment” the State Fair is known for.

The bill now moves to the House.

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  • Changes the bill has gone through?
    When I first starting following this bill, it said if passed, it would allow the sale of alcohol at the state fair. Now that it's passed the Senate, it seems to have narrowed it down to just Indiana breweries and wineries. Does anyone know when this change came about, what Senator stressed that it be changed, etc.?
  • Less Lobbying Against It
    There isn't an organized lobby opposed to selling alcohol at the fair, so it was easily passed. There's a very organized, vocal, and well-connected lobby of hilbillies in this state, by contrast, who don't feel like working Sunday, and want the government to prevent their competitors from choosing to work Sundays. Really all it boils down to.
  • Public drinking
    Why is it much easier to pass a law that enables drinking in public than one which involves purchasing for home consumption?
    • Rednecks, Oppressive Heat, & Alcohol
      What could possibly go wrong?!

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