Sen. Robert Thompson yesterday introduced the ABC's bill for increased alcoholic beverage permit fees. Looks like complaints produced some compromises. The wholesale wine permit was originally scheduled to jump from $1,000 to $12,500. It's now capped at $5,000. Some newish boutique wine wholesalers said the first increase discriminated against them in favor of the major wholesalers that control most beverage sales in the state. The big boys can spread the increase over a much bigger sales base.
Among other things, the bill allows jurisdictions that vote Sunday alcohol sales, either in restaurants or at package stores (only a couple of cities have availed themselves of off-premise sales, not including Little Rock), to sell alcohol from 10 a.m. until midnight rather than noon to 10 p.m. Don't know what the legislature will say about this conflict with prime church-going hours.