Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Ted Davis now says he won’t allow controversial ABC bill vote unless ‘objectionable portions’ are resolved

The bill would only allow non-profits, already operating for a year or more, to sell liquor unless 30 percent of their income from the sale of food

RALEIGH—Representative Ted Davis Jr. responded again today to growing outcry over recent legislation that would prevent new liquor-serving bars.

READ MORE: Ted Davis issues statement to ‘shed some light’ on concerns over ABC bill

On Saturday, May 19, Davis took to Facebook in attempt to clarify his role in sponsoring the bill and invited concerned parties to follow the bill as it made its way through the ABC and Judiciary committees.

After receiving dozens of comments, the majority of them negative, Davis responded on Thursday morning. Davis acknowledged those comments and that “this legislation as it now stands is controversial.”

Davis went to describe his crucial role in the bill’s future; Davis is the Chairman of the Judiciary 1 Committee, which must approve the bill before it would head to the House floor. Davis said that if the bill still contained “objectionable portions” he would let it die in committee.

“(A)s the Committee Chairman of Judiciary 1, I decide whether the Bill will be heard. In the event that the Bill does reach the Judiciary 1 Committee without any changes from its present form, if I allow it to be heard, it will be for the limited purpose of discussion only to see if the objectionable portions can be resolved. If that cannot be accomplished, I do not intend for it to proceed to be heard for a vote,” Davis wrote.

In a brief phone call, Davis confirmed that “objectionable portions” referred to the bill’s provision rewriting the state’s definition of a private club in such a way that would force those hoping to open a new liquor-serving bar to operate as non-profits, a financially unattractive option that would effectively prevent new bars from opening.

Davis clarified that he only had immediate control over the House version of the bill; an identical version was sponsored in the Senate by Andy Wells. Davis said that if the bill passed in the Senate it would then come to the House, where Davis would exercise the same control over it if it came through his committee.

“If it did pass in the Senate and came to the House, and it was sent to the same two committees (ABC and Judiciary 1), and it had the same objectionable portions, then I would not allow it to come through my Judiciary 1 committee. It would be the same gameplan then,” Davis said.


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