Political Notes — As the craft brewers’ law takes effect, have one on us

[private]Friday is “Independence Day” for Georgia’s craft brewers.

After much wrangling over several legislative sessions, a new state law takes effect that finally allows independent brewers to sell some of their product directly to customers at the retail level.

It is a small crack in Georgia’s monolithic “three-tier system” that requires a rigid separation of producing, distributing, and selling alcoholic beverages.

Craft brewers are celebrating their hard-won freedom and so are politicians.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced a couple of weeks ago he would make an appearance at the festivities staged by a Gainesville brewery, the Left Nut Brewing Co.

State Sen. Rick Jeffares (R-McDonough), a candidate for lieutenant governor and one of the supporters of the new law, is observing the occasion at several brew pubs:  Omaha Brewing in the small town of Omaha, Chattabrewchee Southern Brewhouse in West Point, and Wild Leap Brewing Company in LaGrange.

“Whether you like beer or just like freedom and limited government, today is a day for celebration,” Jeffares said. “Georgia’s craft brewers worked hard to pass this law and it will only increase their impact as an economic driver in our state.”

Jeffares added that his campaign manager, Ryan Williams, will be doing the driving.

Jekyll gets a freebie

A $7.1 million loan that the Jekyll Island Authority took out with the OneGeorgia Authority will not have to be repaid at all.

As reported in the Brunswick News:

According to language in a resolution approved June 20 and signed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, chairman of OneGeorgia Authority, the organization acknowledged that the Jekyll Authority needed to focus on other funding priorities on the island, and therefore authorized the conversion of the collective OneGeorgia loans into a single grant award.

According to information provided by MaryBrown Sandys, spokesperson for Department of Community Affairs, which houses the OneGeorgia Authority, the loans funded Jekyll’s Beach Village development projects with the initial loan used to finance the acquisition, construction and equipping of 39,776 square feet of retail space.

The loans were conditioned upon the Westin Hotel building, a 200-room hotel near the Jekyll Island Convention Center and the Beach Village retail project. The $22 million Westin Hotel opened several years ago.

Hill resigns from Senate

Hunter Hill, a candidate for governor, is the latest legislator to give up their seat to spend full time running for another office.

His Senate District 6 seat, which covers parts of Cobb and Fulton counties, will now be the subject of a special election held in conjunction with municipal elections on Nov. 7.

Albers award

State Sen. John Albers (R– Roswell) received a Legislator of the Year Award from the Georgia State Firefighters Association and the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs for his support of legislation that provides cancer insurance coverage for firefighters.

“Sen. Albers is not only a longtime supporter and champion of the Georgia Fire Service, he is also a brother firefighter,” said Dwayne Jamison, president of the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs. “Along with his busy schedule, he takes time to volunteer with his local fire department and serve his community as a first responder.”

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: craft brewers , Hunter Hill , Jekyll Island loan , John Albers , Rick Jeffares