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Relating to restrictions on holders of package store permits.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 526 would repeal two sections of the Alcoholic Beverage Code; specifically it would repeal Sections 22.04 and 22.05.
Chapter 22 concerns package store permits. Section 22.04 currently limits a person from having an interest in more than five package stores. Additionally, Section 22.05 says if a group of package store permit holders is related within the first degree of consanguinity, they may consolidate their separate package store businesses into a single entity. In other words, if a person and his or her father both hold a package store permit, they may come together to form a single packaging store entity.
From the perspective of our liberty principles, there is no reason the government should limit how many package stores a person runs. This is a clear violation of our free market and individual liberty principles. The current laws interfere in the free market by giving an edge to certain package store holders by allowing them to combine into a single entity with other family members.
For example, a large family could easily expand their package store business if each member of the family holds a package store permit. The law allows this because these family members are related within the first degree of consanguinity. Their competitors on the other hand may not be fortunate enough to have a family that is involved in the alcoholic beverage business.
The example above poses a clear barrier to businesses that cannot expand beyond one packaging store permit holder. Moreover, the current laws pose an unfair competitive advantage to packaging stores that may expand just because they have family in the business. This is clearly the improper role for government to play in the economy.
Because this legislation would remove big government style restrictions that infringe on individual liberty and free markets, we support SB 526.