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Senate Bill 1120 — Transfer of liquor licenses, limit

Senate Bill 1120 — Transfer of liquor licenses, limit

Parrish Miller
March 6, 2023

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1120 would significantly limit how holders of liquor licenses may utilize and benefit from those licenses. 

Rating: -1

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market?

Idaho's liquor licensing laws are illogical and discriminatory, creating a significant impediment to market entry and unnecessarily limiting access for both providers and consumers. The current quota-based licensing system should be abolished and replaced with a simple, straightforward, and unlimited licensing system that is low-cost, free of population-based and geographical restrictions, and open to all applicants.

Due to the needless and economically harmful scarcity created by the quota system, business owners who require liquor licenses have been forced to turn to the secondary market to obtain these artificially scarce government-created permission slips. 

Senate Bill 1120 would amend Section 23-903, Idaho Code, to ban holders of new liquor licenses from selling or leasing them. It would also limit current license holders to a single sale or lease of an existing liquor license after which they too would be banned from selling or leasing them.

This bill would effectively outlaw the secondary market for liquor licenses, but the bill would provide no corresponding changes to the law to remove the extraordinarily burdensome quota system that gave rise to the secondary market. 

Any attempt to limit the existing rights of license holders without significant reform to (and ideally the abolition of) the quota system will only impose more harm on business owners and consumers. 


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