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Pence gets bill on State Fair alcohol

– It is now up to Gov. Mike Pence whether the Indiana State Fair will feature beer, wine and spirits.

The House voted 75-20 Tuesday to pass Senate Bill 339, lifting the ban on alcohol at the state fair.

The legislation now goes to Pence for approval or veto, or he could allow it to become law without his signature.

Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, said the legislation adds no words to the Indiana code; instead, it simply repeals the prohibition.

Legislators banned alcohol in 1946 after vendors ran out of paper cups and served beer in glass bottles, which resulted in broken glass all over the fairgrounds.

Alcohol is sold throughout the year at other events on the fairgrounds – but not during the Indiana State Fair.

The State Fair Commission will be in charge of crafting a responsible program of alcohol sales at the fair, including location and hours.

Fair officials have said the fair would focus on the agricultural link to Indiana wine, beer and spirits in an exposition limited to people 21 and older – akin to a beer garden.

Alcohol would have to be consumed in the confined area, meaning that it could not be carried around the fair.

All area representatives supported the legislation except for two – Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, R-Syracuse, and Rep. David Wolkins, R-Warsaw.

nkelly@jg.net

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