On Thursday, two Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) members, Sens. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, and Cliff Bayer, R-Boise, were the only members of the committee to vote against the Idaho State Liquor Division budget, which passed 17-2.
The liquor division request included moving and enlarging five existing state liquor stores in the state and expanding hours including Sundays or evenings at six stores.
Nuxoll raised questions about the state’s role of temperance and the expansion of the hours of operation. Plus, she added, the government should not be in the liquor business since it is a role that can and should be filled by the private sector.
The Cottonwood legislator told committee members of the budget proposal from the liquor division: “I have concerns that the mission of the division is to promote temperance and yet you are asking us to increase hours of operation and redesign a website that contains party planning tips and drink recipes.”
The division’s budget includes increased hours of operation for stores in Boise and in north Idaho. Additional funding requested by ISLD states, “The website will include information about industry trends, providing drink recipes, party planning tips, and other relevant content.”
The division receives no state general tax funds, with the money coming from liquor store and dispensary operations. The governor recommended nearly $17 million in funds for fiscal year 2014.
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