Florida senators passed a bill Wednesday that would allow advertising by beer companies in the state’s theme parks.
The measure (SB 388), sponsored by Republican Sen. Travis Hutson of Elkton, received only one ‘no’ vote from Sen. Kelli Stargel, a Lakeland Republican.
Some beer industry representatives had privately complained. However, they “fear being extorted by the theme parks.”
“We do a lot of business (with them), and we kind of see a situation where they say, ‘We do such-and-such theme night, but now we’d like you to pay for it,’ by sponsoring it,” said one. “(W)e all feel like we’ll be put over a barrel.”
The bill also repeals a state law to permit wine bottles of all sizes to be sold.
That includes the “Nebuchadnezzar,” which hold 15 liters, or the volume of 20 standard wine bottles.
Further, it would repeal another state law that requires diners to order and consume a full meal — “consisting of a salad or vegetable, entree, a beverage, and bread” — before they can take home an opened bottle of wine.
It extends the “merlot to go” legacy of the late Senate President Jim King‘s 2005 measure that first legalized carryout wine.
The bill now heads to the House. Its version (HB 423) still has not been heard by the Commerce Committee, its last panel of reference.