Opinion: A big lesson from a relatively small bill

During this time of year I spend almost every day down at the Gold Dome, keeping an eye on what our state legislators are doing. As a general rule, I don’t spend a lot of time writing about good things that are moving along nicely through the process or bad things that aren’t; it’s the good things that are stuck, and the bad things that are sailing along, that get most of my attention.

A Creature Comforts Brewing Company employee fills a 32-oz. crowler for a customer to take home Aug. 27 in Athens. (AJC Photo / Curtis Compton)

AJC Photo / Curtis Compton

But I want to make an exception and note the Senate’s passage last week of a bill that I’ve written a great deal about because it’s been stuck in the past: loosening the restrictions on craft brewers selling their products on their own premises. As I’ve noted before, this was a relatively small (though potentially impactful) measure in economic terms that nonetheless exemplified the obstacles to freeing up the marketplace in Georgia — despite the professed fondness by the Republican majority for the free market.

The passage of the bill, which now goes to the House, is noteworthy on its own. But I also wanted to draw attention to something one of this issue’s champions had to say about it on the Senate floor.

Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Atlanta, sponsored the bill two years ago that kicked off this campaign. He took a lot of heat for it from Senate leaders, and it shouldn’t go unnoticed that someone else got to carry the compromise measure passed last week. His comments on the Senate floor about this year’s bill deserve to be seen and heard by everyone interested in lawmaking and policy in Georgia.

When he first brought up the idea of letting brewers sell some of their own beer on-site — rather than having to distribute everything through wholesalers under Georgia’s three-tier system — Hill said “you would have thought we were going to really blow up the system and create a lot of havoc. Fast-forward to today, and this is a good learning lesson for everybody in this room. We got a very small measure passed (then), and we got two partners together that had been opponents to sit down and craft something that was mutually beneficial.”

The lesson, he said, applies to other areas in need of reform on which there are diametrically opposed interest groups, such as education and health care. “We can make some small reforms,” he said, “that will ultimately bring people together. Let us not forget about that as we pursue reforms in other, larger parts of state government.”

Indeed, the wholesalers deserve credit for coming around to the idea that on-site sales could be good for their own businesses, by drumming up more demand and loyalty for these brewers’ products. As I wrote about North Carolina, wholesalers seem to have prospered amid a completely different brewery culture and regulatory structure. But as Hill suggested, it’s unlikely they would have been open to this kind of measure at all had there not been that initial engagement on the issue.

Let’s please see more of that in this state on those other, larger topics.

Reader Comments 0

100 comments
AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece on Wednesday accused Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren of trying to “stir up” emotions and “play the race card” by invoking the King family name during a Senate floor speech Tuesday.


No. I mean, yes.


Fact

breckenridge
breckenridge

@AndyManUSA#45 

Martin Luther King Jr's niece doesn't appear to have a name.

Probably just some random person in the bowling alley parking lot that made those comments.

breckenridge
breckenridge

President Trump’s escalating attacks on the federal judiciary drew denunciation Wednesday from his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who told a senator that the criticism was “disheartening” and “demoralizing” to independent federal courts.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Gorsuch made the comments during their private meeting Wednesday, and the account was confirmed by Ron Bonjean, a member of the group guiding the judge through his confirmation process.

Gee that honeymoon didn't last long.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

I wish Mitch McConnell had simply let Warren drone on with her reading of Coretta King's decades old letter.

She's losing ground in Massachusetts.

Why give her the attention she desperately needs to comeback. 


AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 -- When the president's immigration policy is to promote international communism: The president wins. 


-- When the president's immigration policy is to transform America into a different country: The president wins. 

-- But when the president's immigration policy is to protect Americans: Some piss-ant judge announces that his authority exceeds that of the president. 


Fact



http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2017-02-08.html#read_more

Kamchak
Kamchak

"Matt Drudge..."

Aaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnndddddddd, I quit reading and doubled over in laughter.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Pollsters also found that a majority of voters, 52 percent, would prefer former President Obama in his old role rather than Trump; 43 percent prefer Trump, and 5 percent are uncertain.


“Usually a newly elected president is at the peak of their popularity and enjoying their honeymoon after taking office,” PPP President Dean Debnam said in a statement.


“But Donald Trump’s making history once again with a sizeable share of voters already wanting to impeach him, and a majority of voters wishing they could have Barack Obamaback.”

Kamchak
Kamchak

As I wrote about North Carolina, wholesalers seem to have prospered amid a completely different brewery culture and regulatory structure.

Yeah and it's not just Asheville. You can't swing a dead cat in Western N.C. without hitting a brewery.

Their products are getting outside of the state with the help of mobile canning operations.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

IReport -- 


Gallup has Herr Don at 43% approve (down 2%) and 52% disapprove (up 5).  You can rest assured his trajectory will continue to mirror that of the Hindenburg's.


Fact

Kamchak
Kamchak

@AndyManUSA#45 

gallup was 38/55 last week

Nope.

The Trumpmeister as president debuted at gallup on the Monday following the inauguration with a 44% and hasn't moved out of the 42-46 range.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Hedley_Lammar 

I think he can languish in the low to mid 40s for quite a while, provided he doesn't do anything too stupid.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Anyone remember when FDR and Eisenhower told hitler what their plans were? How about Stormin Norman telling saddam when and where?


Can the libs be any more clueless?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@AndyManUSA#45 Well, of course he's not going to tell you, you're the enemy.


There is the problem


He hasn't told ANYBODY


Why. Because he doesnt have one.



Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Any graduates from Trump University here ?


You know. The scam the populist President, who cares about the little guy, ran to rip people off ?


Man did he play you guys for suckers.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@Hedley_Lammar

He is, without question, the greatest con artist in history. Pity that his managerial skills suck so bad. Dude is in waaaaay over his head.  I wouldn't even let the twit coach my kid's little league team.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 Reuters; Trump Approval 50%.


If reuters has him at 50, that means he's over 60 now.


MAGA.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@AndyManUSA#45 Historically low for a new President


And this is the "honeymoon"


Its all downhill from here. Enjoy the ride.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Hedley_Lammar @AndyManUSA#45 Be serious. If you fascists conducted a war against islamic terrorism like you are with Trump, islamic terrorism would be eradicated within weeks.


And his numbers still go up, hahahahaha

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Hedley_Lammar @AndyManUSA#45


Well, of course he's not going to tell you, you're the enemy.


You see where the 3 obama muslims at DHS leaked the info about the Yemen raid where the soldier got killed?



AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Big Business wants cheap foreign slave labor and the fascists ask Big Business how high do we have to jump. Fifteen minutes from now, possibly sooner, the fascists will be nattering on about Republicans being lapdogs of Big Business, even though it's the Republicans telling them to stuff the obscene profits and hire some Americans. 


Yes, you guessed it, the fascists are lying again.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@AndyManUSA#45 So why not go after the employers of cheap labor ? And not demonize the poor people coming here looking for work



Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@AndyManUSA#45 @Hedley_Lammar No


I mean the people employing people HERE


And if you think big business Trump is going to change that you are kidding yourself. 


He isnt a populist. He is in it for himself and his fellow billionaires


He just conned you and now he is going to cash in


Bigly.


AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Hedley_Lammar @AndyManUSA#45 When an illegal gets caught, they will get deported. Then they will not be able to get back in because of the big, beautiful wall. Soon enough, there will only be Americans left to hire.


Fact

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible! @POTUS


That is right folks. The President of the United States. Using the Presidents official twitter account


Tweeted about how unfairly his daughter is being treated in business.


This is what you idiots voted for.


There is no defending this.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@breckenridge  Reported by the Huffington post who came by this little gem through an administration leaker. Fake news. Geez, you flaming far left liberals are a gullible bunch.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Trump called General Michael Flynn on the phone at 3 A.M. and asked him which was better for the US economy, a strong dollar or a weak dollar.  Flynn told Trump he wasn't really sure and that he should ask an economist.


Well......it's good to see Trump showing some curiosity I suppose.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@breckenridge  Kind of early to be drinking and to mix the booze with hallucinogens isn't it? Oh, right you're too far gone to answer coherently.

NativeAtlantan57
NativeAtlantan57

Despicable Donnie Boy criticizing a department store because his daughter's clothing line was not up to their standards. Pathetic (meaning not surprising) that he would use the presidency for such blatant nepotism.

Face it, Donnie Boy, your daughter is a loser as a designer. It is time to disown her now that she does not meet your standards for winners.

He is such a worthless punk!

RidgecrestDawg
RidgecrestDawg

Hey Kyle!


How about a column on Vlad convicting Alexei Navalny of embezzlement! I mean man.... that's some pretty rich material relative to what's going on in DC at the moment. 


Also, I think he legalized slapping women. 


Are these things that you agree with or can make an argument for? I'm really interested on the "conservative" viewpoint on jailing opposition leaders on "trumped up" charges and domestic abuse. Seems like they're things that the leader of the GOP (Donald Trump) is very interested in. 


Remember those "lock her up" chants at political rallies and all the women who came forward with claims of abusive behavior by him? 


Wow! Can't make this stuff up!

breckenridge
breckenridge

"I’ve been in this town for 26 years. I have never seen anything like this. I genuinely do not think this is a mentally healthy president." Eliot Cohen, neo-conservative, State Department offical under George W Bush, speaking about Donald Trump.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

The Democrats concern for illegal immigrants and refugees isn't due to love for their fellow man. It is because the Democrats are trying to shape another voting block. This party casts aside national security, jobs for American citizens along with the huge cost burdens associated with illegal immigration and hoards of refugee's swarming into our country solely for self serving ideological motive. The party is no longer a legitimate political party in the United States it is now a subversive party and needs to be labeled as such.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@SGTGrit @breckenridge 

Shape another voting block?  Oh hell yes, that Syrian voting block, all.........2 thousand? 3 thousand? 5 thousand?........strong, yeah they'll make a hell of an impact in an election.

Such foolishness.  Try cooking something up that at least has some thin thread of a chance of being credible.