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. Forecast: First day of fall brings more showers, humidity to Tampa Bay

    Weather

    More moisture will filter into the Tampa Bay area on Friday, the official start of fall, allowing for higher rain chances through the day and beginning half of the weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Polk childcare workers who berated autistic child turn themselves in (w/video)

    Crime

    WINTER HAVEN — Two childcare workers are facing child abuse charges after a Snapchat video surfaced of them berating, taunting and throwing a backpack at an 8-year-old autistic child.

    Police are searching for two childcare workers - Kaderrica Smith, 26, and Alexis Henderson, 20 - after a Snapchat video surfaced of them berating, taunting and throwing a backpack at an 8-year-old Autistic child in Winter Haven. [Winter Haven Police Department]
  3. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
[Times]
  4. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us

    Columns

    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on …

    A Fort Myers woman who'd recently undergone a double-organ transplant painted a sign that said, "HOT SINGLE FEMALE SEEKS SEXY LINEMAN TO ELECTRIFY HER LIFE" and sure enough, she got her power turned back on. [Photo from video]
  5. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.