A House bill that would have allowed “advertising” by beer companies in the state’s theme parks on Monday morphed into a measure that specifically allows “brand naming agreements.”
What “brand naming agreements” are, however, isn’t defined in the bill (HB 423).
“I’ll bet you your definition and my definition are two different things,” sponsor Mike La Rosa told the Commerce Committee, which eventually cleared the bill for the full House on a 17-9 vote after no debate.
“My intent is that it’s for marketing purposes,” he added. “So if a manufacturer wanted to name an event, or sponsor an event, they can do both” under the bill.
But another amendment failed that would have allowed such agreements with all businesses that serve booze on premises, not just theme parks.
Josh Aubuchon, executive director of the Florida Brewers Guild, the state’s craft beer lobby, referred to the proposal as “little more than a cash grab by the theme parks from beer manufacturers.”
A similar measure (SB 388) already passed the Senate but contains provisions not in the House, including opening up the state to the sale of wine bottles of all sizes.
Updated 10:30 p.m. — As of Monday night, both bills were placed on the House’s special order calendar for Thursday.