Watching Wisconsin: It Ain’t Over Yet

In Beer Politics by Karl

KARL: We were feeling pretty bummed out about the lack of a veto for the Craft Beer motion in the recent Wisconsin budget bill.  At least, until we saw this story from the Ashland Current, kindly passed along by New Glarus Brewing’s Facebook page.  That social media, she sure is handy.

Even though the new rules for craft beer wholesaling and distribution are officially state law, two legislators are thinking they can undo the bad and accentuate the positive.  According to the story, Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) and Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) plan a repeal:

The two representatives say they remain committed to these businesses and plan on introducing legislation in the upcoming weeks to repeal the provisions.

Both legislators had been fighting a beer distribution proposal included in the budget for weeks and had been authoring an amendment to remove language from the budget to encourage Walker to veto the provision.

So there’s that.

In case you’re trying to square your hopes for some new legislation with the fact that these two representatives have a “D” by their name and are going up against a GOP-dominated state government, remember that the efforts to get Governor Walker to veto the provision was a bi-partisan effort.  There’s support on both sides of the aisle for this kind of legislation, which appears to be a rare thing in Wisconsin these days.

The only problem?  Governor Walker doesn’t appear to be one who’s likely to change his mind.  A few hundred thousand protesters over the past few months have borne that out.  Still, maybe there’s hope for a new political mantra to be coined:  “You can mess with our unions.  You can mess with our money.  But don’t mess with our beer.”

Someone get the t-shirt guys on the line, I’ve got an idea.

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Karl

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Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Draft Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, is now available via Amazon and other booksellers. If you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.

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