Government officials and leaders of the alcohol and restaurant industries say the time has come to reform Kentucky’s complex alcoholic beverage laws. Governor Steve Beshear signed an executive order Wednesday creating a task force to review current regulations and make recommendations. Beshear said many have complained current laws don’t account for modern standards and a 21st century economy.
Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner Tony Dehner said many of the laws were written piecemeal and date back to the repeal of Prohibition.
“We have over 70 different types of licenses. And what we’re trying to do is eliminate some of these different types of licenses, consolidate it, make it more business friendly for people who want to get a license, make the process a little bit simpler,” said Dehner.
Kentucky has more than 13,000 licenses issued to manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for alcoholic beverages. The task force will focus on three issues: the number of alcohol licenses in Kentucky; the effectiveness of local option election laws; and public safety. Meetings will start in August and will include statewide forums. A report with recommendations on how to improve alcohol laws is due in January.