Jonathan Small | September 2, 2016
Free Market Friday: ABLE to regulate
“Raise a glass to freedom,” the hit musical Hamilton recommends. Many Oklahomans did just that last Friday in celebration of Senate Bill 424.
Of course, implementing the law to allow beer sales at breweries almost didn’t happen. Last-minute hijinks at the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission threatened to nullify the legislation that had passed easily through the Legislature with bipartisan support.
ABLE Commission Director Keith Burt claimed the law was unclear. This was silly, since it was the purpose of the law and the text includes details like the hours when beer sales can be “distributed or consumed.”
What was really going on? And how can we make it easier to make common-sense reforms to alcohol laws?
As it turns out, the problem is not teetotalers. The kerfuffle over legalizing beer sales in Oklahoma breweries had almost nothing to do with alcohol at all.
Jonathan Small, C.P.A., serves as President and joined the staff in December of 2010. Previously, Jonathan served as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, as a fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and as director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Small’s work includes co-authoring “Economics 101” with Dr. Arthur Laffer and Dr. Wayne Winegarden, and his policy expertise has been referenced by The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, National Review, the L.A. Times, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. His weekly column “Free Market Friday” is published by the Journal Record and syndicated in 27 markets. A recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s prestigious Private Sector Member of the Year award, Small is nationally recognized for his work to promote free markets, limited government and innovative public policy reforms. Jonathan holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Public Accountant.