Governor signs liquor bill and 50 others
Despite an appeal from the state liquor control board for a veto, Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law Friday legislation making changes to the board and Utah's liquor laws.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission voted unanimously on Thursday to request that Herbert veto SB314. They objected to allowing the governor to appoint the chairman of the board instead of having commissioners select their own, and opposed allowing bars and restaurants to sell their liquor licenses.
Herbert had declined comment on the matter prior to signing the bill.
The bill also swaps 40 tavern licenses for 40 restaurant licenses, after restaurant chains complained that the available licenses were already allocated, keeping them from expanding in the state.
It prohibits bars from offering daily drink specials, bans mini-kegs that some local micro-breweries have begun selling and beefs up liquor enforcement.
The liquor bill was just one of 51 bills that Herbert signed into law Friday, including HB199 allowing school districts to sell advertisements on the sides of school buses, and HB220 that mandates that all schools must teach that the United States is a "compound constitutional republic," and not a democracy.
Another bill, HB177, would create a check-off on state income tax forms allowing taxpayers to contribute to a fund to buy body armor for police dogs, a bill prompted after a Midvale police dog was shot and killed in the line of duty.
The governor also signed SB123 that would prevent school districts from hiring lobbyists to work on Capitol Hill, although district employees could still lobby legislators.