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Graham Holds 2nd Hearing on Alcohol Regulation Reform Bill
Chairman of the Committee on Human Services Councilmember Jim Graham (Democrat – Ward One) Monday evening reconvened a hearing on his Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2012, Bill 19-824. The first part of the hearing was held in July 2012 prior to the Council’s summer recess.
“While I am technically the author of this legislation, in point of fact, this bill is the work of two Task Forces that worked over a number of months to produce this product, which all started with the Noise Task Force,” said Graham.
Councilmember Graham encouraged the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to establish the Noise Task Force because of various noise issues related to nightlife. The Noise Task Force met 10 times between March 30, 2010 and November 3, 2010.
“The Task Force developed 10 recommendations, six of which are either contained in the omnibus bill, or have already been put into practice. The balance of these recommendations are under consideration for rulemaking at ABRA,” remarked Graham.
Representatives of the Noise Task Force were the first witnesses before the ABC Working Group. Councilmember Graham established the Working Group in December 2011, which met through the last day of April 2012. The ABC Working Group included a Noise subgroup, which considered the earlier recommendations of the Noise Task Force.
“The ABC Working Group developed 43 detailed recommendations each one of which is reflected in the bill,” said Graham.
Councilmember Graham noted that his Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2012 was the work of the ABC Working Group and the Noise Task Force, emphasizing that he had not changed or added a single provision in the bill.
The legislation addresses the problem of spillover noise in neighborhoods that are adjacent to entertainment areas, strengthens enforcement by defining and adding additional violations to the ABC law, changes the law to permit Class-A licensee sales on Sundays, clarifies procedures and issues of standing with respect to the protest of a license and provides more detail about what is enforceable in a Voluntary Agreement.
In addition to oversight responsibility for four human services agencies and the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation, Councilmember Graham has had oversight of alcoholic beverage regulation for the last eight years. And as a councilmember representing one of the District’s major nightlife areas, he has been extensively involved in the regulation of alcohol and nightlife establishments since he joined the Council in 1999.