Committee Rejects Study on Having Private Clubs in Dry Counties

October 21, 2005 -- Posted at 4:26 p.m. CDT 


JONESBORO -- Should the public have more input before a private club gets a liquor license? The state Alcohol Beverage Control Board decides whether or not private clubs will be allowed to serve alcohol.  Thursday a proposal came before the House and Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental affairs as to whether or not citizens of dry counties should have a say on this issue.  That proposal was rejected in a hand vote by the committee. 


So how do local lawmakers feel about this  proposal being rejected?  “My view on all studies is that I am for them I think the more information I get as a legislator makes me a better legislator and makes me better able to make informed decisions that effect my constituents lives,” said state Representative Chris Thyer.


The wet or dry issue has been a source of heated argument for several years, but hasn't been voted on in more than twenty years. “Right now if thirty-eight percent of the people that voted in the last governor's election want to sign a petition to have the issue for alcohol put on the ballot locally they can,” said Craighead County Judge Dale Haas.”


Representative Scott Sullivan who proposed the idea said he will bring the issue back up in the 2007 legislative session.    


According to the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, there are 12 private clubs permits in Craighead County.