July 3, 2020

Regulatory news roundup

GL Solutions’ weekly newsletter features a brief roundup of notable regulatory news and information from around the country:

Texas bars sue over new shutdown:
About two dozen bars filed a legal challenge June 29 to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent shutdown order. Abbott had issued an order allowing bars to reopen, but reversed course June 26 in response to an increase in coronavirus cases. The lawsuit argues that Abbott’s order suspended state laws, which is a job constitutionally reserved for the Legislature, and improperly picked winners and losers among state businesses, according to the Statesman newspaper in Austin.

States cling to ‘sin’ taxes amid slump: Many states are looking to ‘sin’ taxes to help weather the coronavirus-related budget storm, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline news service. Even as collections have plummeted for many kinds of taxes, those for liquor, marijuana and other ‘sin’ substances have remained strong. Some states have even boosted such taxes. Maryland hiked tobacco taxes in March, and New Jersey is considering a cigarette-tax increase that would make its levy, at $4.35 per pack, the nation’s highest.

Georgia House OKs liquor delivery: Georgia’s House of Representatives approved a bill June 25 that would allow liquor stores and some restaurants to deliver beer, wine and liquor to customers. The bill will become law with the governor’s signature. The bill recognizes changes in shopping habits accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, but not all liquor stores like it. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, it is not liked by hundreds of small liquor retailers that don’t have websites and aren’t set up for deliveries.

Colorado high court OKs large-magazine ban: Colorado’s supreme court upheld a ban on large-capacity gun magazines on June 29, reports the Denver Post. The ban on magazines that hold more than 15 rounds was adopted in 2013 following a shooting at a theater in Aurora that killed 12. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the ban does not violate the state Constitution’s right to bear arms.

Iowa gov. signs licensure bill: On June 25, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a licensing-reform bill that makes it easier for those with out-of-state licenses to gain Iowa licenses to work as electricians, plumbers, cosmetologists and other professionals. The intent of the law is to encourage workers to move to the state, according to CBS2 in Cedar Rapids.

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