Bill to allow alcohol at All Aboard stations clears House

Posted on March 4, 2016

By Isadora Rangel

TALLAHASSEE - THouse passed a bill that allows alcohol to be sold at All Aboard Florida Friday.

SB 698 changes different alcohol and tobacco regulations and would allow wine, beer and alcohol to be sold at rail stations, including restaurants and "entertainment or recreational facilities" within the premises.

The House passed the bill with a 115-1 vote Friday. The Senate passed it with a 38-0 vote last week. The bill now returns to the Senate because of changes the House made to it.

Florida currently allows beer, wine and liquor to be sold to rail passengers for consumption on the cars, and liquor may be sold only in miniature bottles of no more than 2 ounces.

The bill would expand that to the stations, and liquor would not have to be sold in miniature bottles. The license issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation would not be subject to the restrictions limiting the number of such licenses that may be issued per county. The bill also prohibits local governments from requiring additional licenses or levying an extra tax.

Follow Isadora Rangel, Arek Sarkissian and Tampa news partner Jeff Schweers for updates on all the legislative action.

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