Stronger beer bill clears another hurdle

Local News
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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A bill that would allow Utah retailers to sell stronger beer cleared another hurdle Tuesday.

State Sen. Jerry Stevenson’s bill, S.B. 132, passed its final approval vote in the Utah State Senate with a vote of 27-2.

The bill would allow local retailers to sell beer with 4.8 percent alcohol by weight instead of the current 3.2 percent.

Sen. Stevenson (R-Layton), the bill’s sponsor, contended, “responsible drinkers at 3.2 will be responsible at 4.8. I don’t believe that we are changing the paradigm here.” He also pointed out that more and more beer manufacturers have moved away from making 3.2 beer.

However, the bill does face some opposition.

State Sen. Lyle Hillyard (R-Logan) said he voted ‘no’ on the bill. He said his concern is that “the next step will be will be to put wine in grocery stores.” 

Other groups have criticized the bill for not going far enough

Utah and Minnesota are the only two states left where only 3.2 percent beer can be sold in grocery and convenience stores. Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas have all decided to abandon the limit in recent years.

It’s now off to the House.

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...