-Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity-Florida, and R Street Institute Lend Voices in Support-

(Tallahassee, Fla.) – Floridians for Fair Business Practices (FFBP) today recognized three free market entities that provided strategic insight and thoughtful debate on the alcohol separation legislation. National organizations Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity and R Street Institute are supporting Senate Bill 468 sponsored by Sen. Denise Grimsley (R-Sebring) that is being considered in the Florida Senate Committee on Regulated Industries today, March 18, 2015 at 4:00 PM.

Americans for Tax Reform – Grover Norquist, President

Excerpts from letter to members of the Florida Senate Committee on Regulated Industries

“On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across Florida, I urge you to use the 2015 legislative session to approve SB 468, legislation that would lift onerous restrictions on Florida employers, remove barriers for consumers, and promote economic growth.

“Simply put, this law makes no sense and leaves Florida employers with fewer resources to hire new workers, give current workers a raise, and invest back into their businesses and the state. Furthermore, the separation law creates unnecessary barriers to commerce for Florida residents and visitors.

“After 20 federal tax increases and countless regulations imposed on Floridians from Washington over just the last six years, the last thing your constituents need is to deal with onerous and nonsensical state restrictions that increase costs, erect barriers to commerce, and hurt Florida employers.”

Americans for Prosperity – Florida (AFP-FL)

Excerpts from AFP-FL Briefing: Modernizing Florida’s Liquor Laws, A Brief Analysis of Select Florida Alcohol Regulations, March 2015

“…Some of the state’s alcohol laws are heritage regulations from a time, shortly after Prohibition ended, that alcohol market was still closely linked with organized crime. Today, these heritage regulations privilege certain businesses over others, create barriers for Florida’s entrepreneurs, and fail to protect the consumer in the same way they did in decades past.

“…a state’s regulations regarding whether grocery stores can sell liquor next to beer and wine seem to have no positive correlation to increased minor alcohol consumption rates.

“…If this requirement, which places a measurable fiscal burden on retailers, does not demonstrate proven benefits in the reduction of underage drinking, why does it continue to exist?”

R Street Institute – Florida Director Christian Camara

Excerpts from an opinion editorial appearing in today’s Tampa Tribune

“…A repeal of this law, passed just after the end of the Prohibition Era, makes sense.  Rather than suppress business activity, government should explore ways to reduce barriers to competition and make it easier for willing consumers to transact business safely and legally.”

“…Others claim the proposal would put liquor stores out of business. On the contrary, it would encourage that industry to innovate by allowing them to sell other goods and products the law currently bans. Consumers likewise would benefit, because they would have more options and reap the benefit of lower prices brought on by competition.”

“…Research shows that convenience stores, supermarkets and other retailers that sell alcohol are marginally better than liquor stores at preventing sales to minors.  This is especially true among large retailers, who devote millions to their loss-prevention programs and have a lot more at stake if they are caught breaking the law. If you’re a minor, it’s not any easier to buy beer at a supermarket than it is to buy liquor at a liquor store.”

Members of the FFBP include the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Target, and Walmart. Supporters of the alcohol separation law repeal include legislators, law enforcement officials, and more than 2,000 Floridians who have signed a petition in support of the measure.

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About Floridians for Fair Business Practices

Floridians for Fair Business Practices is a coalition of retailers and business groups whose purpose is to identify rules and regulations, which prohibit the growth and expansion of Florida business. For additional information, please go to www.FairBizinFlorida.com.

About Americans for Tax Reform

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) was founded in 1985 by Grover Norquist at the request of President Reagan. ATR opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle. We believe in a system in which taxes are simpler, flatter, more visible, and lower than they are today.  Additionally, ATR works with state-based center-right groups to help replicate ATR’s national Wednesday Meeting in the states. These meetings bring together a broad cross section of the center-right community- taxpayer groups, social conservative groups, business groups, legislators, etc., to promote limited government ideals. For more information, please go to www.ATR.org.

About Americans for Prosperity-Florida

Americans for Prosperity is a grassroots movement of over 2.3 million activists nationwide who advocate and promote limited government, lower taxes, and more freedom. We have more than 146,000 activists across the state of Florida who are taking action every day on behalf of the free market movement and influencing decision makers. For questions or comments regarding the report, please contact Melissa Fausz at 850.408.1218 or via email at MFausz@AFPHQ.org. For general information, go to www.AmericansforProsperity.org/Florida.

About R Street Institute

The R Street Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, public policy research organization (“think tank”). Our mission is to engage in policy research and outreach to promote free markets and limited, effective government.  We work extensively on both state and national policy, focusing on issues that other groups tend to neglect. We believe free markets work better than the alternatives. At the same time, we recognize the legislative process calls out for practical responses to current problems. Toward that end, our motto is “Free markets. Real solutions.” For additional information, please visit www.RStreet.org.