ABC Changes Move Ahead
Special Report - June 11, 2010
Greater efficiency and ethicality are two central goals of the revised version of HB 1717Modernization of the State ABC System, that the House ABC Committee passed on June 9. North Carolina is currently one among 18 states in America that has kept this system of alcohol control.
While the bill must make its way through other committees before it can be voted up or down by the General Assembly, the proposed legislation would give more authority to the state-level ABC Commission to “address enforcement of ABC laws, store appearance, operating efficiency, solvency, and customer service,” as well as “establish mandatory training requirements” for staff.
In response to last year’s controversy over the high wages paid to some local board employees, alleged nepotism, and gifts given to some ABC board members by liquor companies, the new ethics regulations seek to limit officials’ ability to use the agency for familial gain or personal benefit. Section 14 (k) reads, “Members of an immediate family shall not be employed within the local board if such employment will result in one member of the immediate family supervising another member of the immediate family…” Greater restraints on gifts and the compensation and expenses of board employees and members are a part of the proposed new ethics provisions.
The statute would empower the ABC Commission to take actions such as closing stores or merging local ABC boards and stores, if implementing a performance improvement plan fails. The Commission would also be charged with adjudicating removal hearings for board members or employees accused of not completing training, violating ABC laws, or behaving unethically.
ABC Proposal Released - May 7, 2010
ABC Committee Floats Proposal - April 12, 2010
Alcohol Becomes Popular Topic - March 26, 2010
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