Posted on January 13, 2016

By: Jim Rosica

Legislation that would allow beer to be sold and consumed on All Aboard Florida train cars and at its stations cleared a Senate panel on Wednesday.

The Regulated Industries Committee OK’d the bill (SB 698) without objection.

The train provisions were added as an amendment by committee Chairman Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican. He mentioned All Aboard Florida by name as he explained the new “railroad transit station” language.

The proposed private passenger-rail system, which would connect Orlando to West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, is set to start running next year.

It’s been the subject of bitter opposition, as Fortune magazine recently put it, “by a coalition of quiet communities along the route who question its safety, its impact on quality of life, and the ethics and motivation behind its financing.”

Also, “All Aboard Florida has some advantages in getting up to speed — it’s a sister company of Florida East Coast Railway, a freight rail shipper that will share its rails and right of way with AAF,” the magazine said.

The legislation also helps the state’s theme parks, volume users of beer kegs.

Instead of charging certain customers a deposit on each individual keg bought, distributors could set up an “inventory and reconciliation process” in which buyers would pay up once or twice a year based on what they used.

Theme parks use thousands of kegs a year, and having to keep track of each deposit has proved an administrative nightmare.

The bill next heads to the Senate’s Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government. A House companion hasn’t yet gotten a hearing.

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