New chairman appointed to Indiana alcohol commission

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.(AP) — The newest appointment to an Indiana commission charged studying the state's alcohol laws may mean cold beer sales won't expand in the state.

House Speaker Brian Bosma appointed former Rep. Bill Davis on Wednesday to lead the Indiana Alcohol Code Revision Commission. Davis served in the Indiana House from 2004 to 2013.

The commission will meet in the summer to continue its two-year study considering potential changes to the state's alcohol laws.

During his time as the chair of the House Public Policy Committee, Davis blocked proposals in 2011 and 2013 that sought to expand cold beer and allow for Sunday sales, which lawmakers authorized in March. Cold beer sales remains in debate.

Davis will replace former Sen. Beverly Gard, who supported loosening alcohol regulations when the committee met last summer. Senate President Pro Tem David Long appointed Gard last year. The appointment alternates every year.

Bosma said he decided to replace Gard because he wanted someone who would make gradual changes to alcohol regulations instead of changing them all at once.

"Really I was looking for a knowledgeable person who wouldn't have to start from ground zero on the alcohol regulatory issues," Bosma said. "Bill as committee chair, I think, was reflecting the position of our caucus at the time, not necessarily any significant moral issues on his own."

The Legislative Council directed the commission to find ways to reduce the complexity and improve the consistency of the state's alcohol licensing system, reevaluate the structure for providing alcohol licenses and study over-consumption at retail outlets.

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