Holcomb signs 10 bills, closes Ricker's ‘cold-beer loophole'

Holcomb signs 10 bills, closes Ricker's ‘cold-beer loophole'
Posted at 4:04 PM, May 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-02 16:24:42-04

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Eric Holcomb signed 10 bills on Tuesday, including a piece of legislation that will close the “cold-beer loophole” used by Ricker’s convenience stores.

The loophole used by two of Ricker’s stores allowed them to operate as restaurants, in which they were able to sell cold carryout alcohol.

Holcomb signed the Alcohol Matters bill that states, “after May 14, 2017, a restaurant may not sell carryout unless at least 60 percent of its gross retail income from alcoholic beverage sales is derived from sales of alcoholic beverages consumed on the premises.”

“I sign this bill with the understanding we need to review and make common-sense changes to Indiana’s alcohol laws,” said Holcomb.


Jay Ricker's, chairman of Ricker's, released a statement shortly after the bill was signed:

“While we believe this bill merited a veto, we are heartened by Governor Holcomb’s statement that Indiana’s ridiculous and restrictive liquor laws need a common sense review.  Throughout this year’s legislative session, Ricker’s has been targeted by anti-free market forces whose sole objective is to limit the choices of Hoosier consumers.  We never stopped fighting them and their powerful interests, and with public sentiment clearly on our side, we will continue this fight back in our communities and into next year’s legislative session.”

In December 2015, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Indiana's law restricting the sale of cold beer in convenience stores and grocery stores.

Lawmakers became aware of the sales at Ricker’s stores mid-March and Speaker Brian Bosma said he and the Senate would will work to change the law during the legislative session.

On April 21, The House approved the bill on an 84-13 vote and it passed the Senate on a 43-1 vote.

RELATED | Ricker's finds way around Indiana law banning cold beer sales at gas stations | Indiana legislature passes bill to prevent Ricker's cold-beer sales | Package liquor stores run radio ad targeting legal loophole that allowed Ricker's to sell cold beer | Bill allowing Ricker's to sell cold beer - for now - gets Senate approval, moves to discussions | Halting cold beer sales at Ricker's trickier than expected

Holcomb also signed a bill that will ban net metering by 2027 and limit the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s compensations for customers with solar installations.

“I support solar as an important part of Indiana’s comprehensive energy mix,” said Holcomb. “I understand the concerns some have expressed, but this legislation ensures that those who currently have interests in small solar operations will not be affected for decades.”

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