Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Small brewers cheer changes to beer measure (w/video)

Small breweries may not be as mighty as Anheuser-Busch distributors, but they showed a little muscle on Monday by helping to reshape a House bill that could have put some out of business.

"Some folks recognized that there were problems that needed to be addressed," said Josh Aubuchon, a Holland & Knight lobbyist who represents the Florida Brewers Guild, a consortium that includes 90 local breweries in Florida, including 28 in the Tampa Bay region.

HB 1329, sponsored by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Fort Myers, would have legalized half-gallon containers, known as growlers, to sell craft beer. That size is legal in 47 other states, but not Florida.

But while Rodrigues' bill would make half-gallon growlers legal, it also came with many restrictions small breweries didn't like, so that only those with certain licenses were eligible. Aubuchon said additional restrictions would have made it difficult for many of the 90 breweries he is representing to operate.

So they cheered an amendment that eliminated most of those restrictions adopted by the House's Business & Professional Regulation committee on Monday. Under the revised bill, which has two more committees to go, breweries can more easily open tasting rooms and avoid many of the restrictions proposed in Rodrigues' original bill.

Even though it completely changed his bill, Rodrigues reversed himself and agreed to the changes.

"It's the legislative process at work," Rodrigues said afterward. "You get input from the public, you determine what the better policy is, and then you amend it as you go forward."

Bill puts limits on red light cameras

Local governments would be limited on where they can put new red light cameras and how they can use fines from violations under a measure approved by a House committee Monday.

The Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously approved the amended HB 7005, sponsored by Miami Republican Rep. Frank Artiles, after some controversial provisions were deleted.

Rather than doing away with the portion of the fine that goes to local agencies, local governments have to use at least 70 percent of their proceeds, or $52.50, for traffic safety projects. The proposal also requires local governments to complete an engineering study before they install red light cameras in an intersection.

The bill would also eliminate local governments' ability to write tickets for right-on-red violations (or left-on-red, at intersections of one-way streets). Now, drivers can receive citations only if there is a pedestrian in a walkway or they otherwise are shown to have failed to yield.

There currently is no Senate companion to the House bill.

Times staff writer Tia Mitchell contributed to this report.

Tampa Bay Brewing currently sells draft beer to go in glass containers called growlers, like the 32-ounce size being filled.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Tampa Bay Brewing currently sells draft beer to go in glass containers called growlers, like the 32-ounce size being filled.

Small brewers cheer changes to beer measure (w/video) 03/24/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 11:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Allegiant Air reports $400 million in revenue for second quarter

    Airlines
    Allegiant Air CEO Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. | [Courtesy of Tony Jannus Aviation Society]
  2. Dade City's Wild Things touts cub encounters as conservation, but experts say they lead to too many tigers languishing in cages

    Wildlife

    DADE CITY — A lifelong animal lover, Lisa Graham was intrigued when she saw photos on social media of friends cuddling and petting baby tigers at zoos.

    A tiger named Andy is seen at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. Big Cat Rescue is a nonprofit sanctuary committed to humane treatment of rescued animals, often coming from exploitive for-profit operations. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

  3. Once close to death in Ukraine, sick girl finds hope in Tampa Bay

    Human Interest

    Everything was packed for Walt Disney World. Clothes for three nights. The pressurized air vest and pump that travel with her. The dress she would wear to meet Cinderella.

    Marina Khimko, 13, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment Dec. 7 at the Shriners Hospital for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]
  4. What you need to know for Thursday, July 27

    News

    href="http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2015/graphics/macros/css/base.css"> Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Marina Khimko, now 14, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment at the Shriners Hospitals for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA | Times]
  5. Colors and culture in Cuba overwhelm first-time visitor

    Travel

    I landed in Havana with many questions about what we would witness in our brief visit. There was so much rich history and culture I wanted to experience, but the stories I had heard from Cuban refugees rang in my brain. After the death of Fidel Castro, some Cuban immigrants danced in the streets of Tampa and told …

    Havana is a photographer's dream. Bright colors abound, from the walls to the classic cars to the streets filled with tourists, musicians and locals. All of these elements are a part of photographs that were so rare for Americans to capture until very recently. I loved photographing this scene in front of this perfect yellow wall.