The Indiana Alcohol Code Revision debated permit issues Friday as lawmakers and business owners took hours of public testimony. It was the latest hearing in the commission’s two-year review of the state's alcohol laws.
Testimony came from many sides of the industry – from gas stations to liquor stores to big box retailers.
Some say the state should get rid of permit quotas. They argue limits on the amount of stores selling liquor, which is based on surrounding population, cuts down on competition and drives up costs for the consumer.
Many who support the quotas argue more alcohol will lead to more crime.
Commission member Terry Bauer formerly worked for the Indiana State Excise Police. He says the permit system is especially difficult to tackle because so many businesses, big and small, work within it.
“It’s the same permit that’s hanging on the wall, right there," Bauer says. "So it’s not one-size-fits-all.”
Chairwoman Beverly Gard says this meeting will be the last, for a while, to include lengthy testimony. Next, she says the commission will, in her words, “really get down to business.”