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A bill described as a "Band-Aid" to help solve an acute shortage of alcohol licenses passed the House on Monday.
Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, said his HB42 would change license quota formulas to convert unused beer bar licenses to restaurant permits.
HB42 would convert 41 unused beer bar licenses into 21 restaurant permits allowing all types of alcohol and 20 licenses allowing eateries to serve only beer or wine.
Froerer said his bill is not a long-term solution to problems with population-based formulas that create quotas for alcohol licenses. "It is more of a Band-Aid," he said.
He said more restaurants have applied for alcohol licenses than are currently available. He said fixing the problem may create more jobs and bring in more taxes.
The House passed the bill on a 67-3 vote. It now goes to the Senate. Other more sweeping alcohol reform legislation is expected to be considered later this year.