Cities Gain Option Under Proposal

Legislation would enable cities to hold wet-dry votes

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State Sen. Missy Irvin of Mountain View said a bill introduced in the Arkansas House of Representatives would bring greater consistency to wet-dry laws that have been in place for decades. She is lead senate sponsor of HB 1148, which would authorize cities to conduct their own local option elections to manufacture and sell alcoholic beverages.

Allowing cities to hold their own votes on alcoholic beverage sales is the “right thing to do,” she said.

The bill’s lead sponsor is Rep. Fran Cavenaugh of Walnut Ridge, and Rep. Michelle Gray of Melbourne is a co-sponsor of the measure amending Initiated Act 1 of 1942.

The heart of the bill allows cities, by one of two methods, to vote on wet-dry issues, independent of other county voters as designated by the 1942 act which currently allows consideration at a county-wide level only.

The bill’s approval into law would mean the issue could be brought to public vote when 15 percent of the qualified city voters successfully petition the measure, or by a simple majority vote of the territory’s governing body, typically a city council.

Read the complete story in the Feb. 3, 2021 issue.

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