Omnibus alcohol bill passed

A bill that makes numerous changes to the state Liquor Control Act passed May 21.

LB330, sponsored by O’Neill Sen. Tyson Larson, makes a variety of updates to the act and the state Liquor Control Commission’s (LCC) regulatory authority.

Among other changes, the bill prohibits the possession or sale of alcohol in powdered form in Nebraska, while providing an exemption for research hospitals and other facilities.

Possession of powdered alcohol will carry the following penalties:
• an infraction and $300 fine for a first offense;
• a Class IV misdemeanor, $400 fine and up to five days of incarceration for a second offense; and
• a Class IIIA misdemeanor, $500 fine and up to seven days of incarceration for a third and all subsequent offenses.

Other provisions of the bill will:
• provide tax credits to beer manufacturers who utilize local crops;
• authorize the LCC to dispose of confiscated alcohol;
• require licensure of pedal pubs;
• allow an establishment holding a Class C liquor license to apply for a limited bottling endorsement;
• allow liquor licensees 30 days for a late renewal;
• apply laws relating to beer kegs to all kegs containing alcoholic liquor;
• define hard cider as beer instead of wine;
• remove a prohibition on issuing liquor licenses within 150 feet of a home for the aged; and
• remove a mandatory hearing requirement for license applications within 150 feet of a church.

LB330 passed on a 44-1 vote.

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