2015 Summer Ohio Beer Law Update

From the desk of Tim Brown and  State Representative Dan Ramos

June 11, 2015

Friends, I am writing you today to update you with the status of House Bill 68, which I introduced earlier this year.  Known from last General Assembly as House Bill 391, HB68 would raise the maximum allowable ABV to 21%.

Earlier last week, I met with Representative Tim Brown (R-Bowling Green), who Chairs the House Committee on Government Accountability & Oversight.  Chairman Brown was aware of the Bill, and assured me that it will receive testimony in his Committee.

Last Tuesday, I delivered Sponsor Testimony to the Committee, wherein I argued in support of the bill as well as took questions from the Committee.  Committee members in both Parties were friendly to the Bill and, while Chairman Brown has ultimate discretion over when the bill will be heard again, he has suggested the bill will be allowed a second hearing for Proponent Testimony, where supporters of the Bill are welcomed to speak about it.  I am optimistic about the Bill receiving further testimony within a few weeks.

My office has been in touch with many of you in the past.  I know that many of you are frustrated with the slow process of passing this bill.  I want you to know that I am too.  In the past, previous iterations of the Beer Bill have been held up because of arbitrary decisions by members of House Leadership.  With a number of those names and faces changed in this General Assembly, I have received positive support from members of Leadership and other Representatives on House Bill 68.

I am reaching out for your assistance in providing Proponent Testimony for House Bill 68.  Proponent Testimony will likely occur Tuesday, June 23rd at 1:30PM in State House Room 114.  Gathering in-person testimony from businesses and organizations affiliated with the industry will assist me in making the case for H.B.68.  Proponent testimony entails a small speech, usually less than 5 minutes in length, for the Committee on why you support the Bill.  I have already contacted several of you for your support from last General Assembly.  If you, or someone you know affiliated with the industry, would like to become a public proponent of this legislation please contact my office.  Should you have any questions or need assistance in this regard, my legislative aide, Eric Fischer (Eric.Fischer@OhioHouse.gov), would be happy to work with you during the process.

If you do not represent a business or affiliated member organization, I would still urge you to reach out and contact your State Representative as well as Chairman Dovilla’s office directly to voice your support for H.B. 68 and ask that it be given timely consideration before the committee. You can find the contact for your State Representative by clicking here and entering your zip code in the bottom left corner of the website.  You can contact the committee Chairperson via the following:

The Honorable Tim Brown
77 S. High St., 13th Floor

Columbus, OH 43215

P: 614-466-8104
E: Rep03@OhioHouse.gov

As I mentioned, I am very optimistic about House Bill 68 moving further this General Assembly.  The Bill has bi-partisan support, with six Democrats and six Republicans already co-sponsoring.  I believe this legislation represents an important investment in Ohio small businesses to ease our beer regulations with other states’, and it is important for me to pass H.B. 68 this year.  As always, if I can be of any further service to you, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Cheers, \
Dan Ramos

State Representative

56th Ohio House District

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