(KCPW News) Though the end of Utah's private club law is still about a month away, a proponent of changing the states liquor laws is gearing up to push for more change. Attorney Lisa Marcy, a board member of the Utah Hospitality Association, says the group is already prioritizing its agenda for 2010.
"Right now we're looking at the fact that the social establishments are paying retail when they purchase alcohol just like you and I do. And what happens is they have to increase the cost of it so much and pass it off to the consumers," said Marcy. "We're just trying to say let's just talk about them getting some sort of deal like they do in any other state where they can actually make a little bit more of a profit."
Marcy says the association may also push to tweak the equation used to determine the number of liquor licenses allowed in the state because an increase in licenses would mean an increase in small businesses.
Pushing alcohol reform on lawmakers could be more difficult next session. Governor Jon Huntsman has been a major supporter of changing the state's liquor laws, while his replacement, Lieutenant Governor Gary Herbert is generally more conservative. Marcy says this is a concern.
"I'll just come right and out say it. Yes, it is a definite concern. One of the topics of our next meeting will be people will be prepared to talk about their involvement with him and what their interactions were like with him and what his positions were," said Marcy. "We have some people researching his actual positions on things because it is a relatively unknown equation."
Marcy says the UHA will attempt to educate Herbert and lawmakers about possible changes, and by the time the 2010 legislative session arrives the group will have six months of data from the most recent changes to use in its favor.