Reform on Tap faces opposition


Just when we thought the Annapolis political bosses couldn't be any more ham-handed in their tactics...this.

House Bill 1316, introduced by Delegates Warren Miller (R-Howard County) and Ben Kramer (D-Montgomery County) would actually set up a Task Force to consider stripping my Office of our responsibility to regulate Maryland's alcohol industry. This, in obvious response to my efforts, together with small businesses, consumers and community leaders across our state, to reform our state's antiquated, dysfunctional beer laws.

There's so much I could say about the nationally-renowned efforts of my Field Enforcement Division to enforce the tax laws of our state, keep dangerous products off retail shelves, provide responsive service to our regulated industries, and prevent the sale of alcohol to minors.

But that would be giving this stunt too much dignity. Only in Annapolis would the corporate beer monopoly have the audacity to demand a new state regulator because of a policy disagreement they have with the current one. And only in Annapolis would subservient lawmakers step up to indulge such arrogance.

My take? It's a move borne of desperation. If ever I needed confirmation that our Reform on Tap movement has inspired people across Maryland to get involved, and is putting immense pressure on the status quo in Annapolis, I have it now. Thanks to each of you for fighting for fairer and more sensible craft beer laws.

It's about jobs, it's about our economy and it's about more vibrant communities. Please continue asking your delegates and senators to vote YES on HB 518, NO on HB 1052 and to stop wasting time and taxpayer money on idiocy like HB 1316.

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