Legislative Resolutions Introduced to Study State Liquor Laws

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Legislative Resolutions Introduced to Study State Liquor Laws
Alcohol policy environment impacts health and safety of Nebraskans

State senators will have a key opportunity to gather more comprehensive information to determine the public health and safety impacts of alcohol policies in Nebraska. A number of legislative resolutions (LRs) have been introduced related to alcohol issues in Nebraska, including:

  • LR 115 (Sen. John Lowe) will examine the manufacture, sale and distribution of alcohol, the types of liquor licenses, and the taxes and fees collected by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.
  • LR 187 (Sen. John Cavanaugh) will review laws pertaining to retail liquor license applications and requirements, the expansion of licensed premises, and the transfer of alcohol between retail locations.
  • LR 174 (Sen. Tom Briese) will study issues within the jurisdiction of the General Affairs Committee.

Alcohol-related policy proposals are often referred to General Affairs, and all three LRs will be scheduled for a hearing before this committee. 

A substantial body of scientific evidence indicates that states with more robust policies tend to have lower consumption. The relatively small number of states classified as having stronger policies points to “opportunities for policymakers in other states to address longstanding and continued high levels of alcohol consumption and related consequences,” according to the study’s authors.

Researchers developed an Alcohol Policy Scale (APS) designed to measure the aggregate state-level alcohol policy environment and assess the relationship of APS scores to state-level adult binge drinking prevalence in US states. Higher APS scores (representing stronger policy environments) were associated with less adult binge drinking and accounted for a substantial proportion of the state-level variation in binge drinking among states. Additional research has found that state alcohol policies may effectively reduce aggression-related harms and vehicular hazards due to other drinkers, mainly in those under 40.

A variety of evidence-based strategies have been shown to contribute to stronger alcohol policy environments, including:

  • Increasing alcohol excise taxes;
  • Reducing alcohol outlet density; and
  • Reducing the days and hours of alcohol sales.

Project Extra Mile urges policymakers to collect more comprehensive data on alcohol-related harms in Nebraska and testimony from public health and prevention advocates during these interim studies, which have not yet had hearings scheduled. Additional updates on each LR and other alcohol-related policies are available on our website here.