Bill Description: Senate Bill 1047 would create a special carve-out to Idaho's liquor laws, to benefit a single entity.
Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Examples include laws which discriminate or differentiate based on age, gender, or religion or which apply laws, regulations, rules, or penalties differently based on such characteristics. Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law?
Idaho's liquor laws are illogical and discriminatory, creating a significant impediment to market entry and unnecessarily limiting access to both providers and consumers. The entire regulatory system should be abolished and replaced with a simple, straightforward and unlimited licensing system that is low-cost, free of geographical restrictions and open to all applicants.
Senate Bill 1046 would take the opposite approach. It amends Section 23-903, Idaho Code, by adding a convoluted carve-out for the benefit of a single entity.
It would say, in part, "Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the issuance of a license to the owner, operator, or lessee of a food and beverage facility operating in a structure that has been in existence for at least one hundred ten (110) years and is located within the boundaries of and listed as contributing to a national historic district that is within the city limits of a resort city ... that has enacted ... a resort city tax on sales of liquor by the drink, wine, and beer sold at retail for consumption on the licensed premises."
The facility would also have to "be not less than six thousand (6,000) square feet of enclosed space and must include a commercial kitchen. The commercial kitchen must include a type 1 commercial hood and cooking equipment, exclusive of microwave ovens and grills."
Rather than create a special privilege for one entity, Idaho's liquor laws should be amended to promote free-market commerce and remove barriers to entry into the market.