It appears that a bill that would have created a new agency to promote Oregon distilleries throughout the nation and the world did not survive the legislative session, a victory for substance abuse treatment advocates who opposed the use of state funds to promote alcohol.
According to a legislative analysis, House Bill 2976 would have established the Oregon Spirits Board as a “semi-independent” state agency supervised by a nine-member board appointed by the governor.
It would have cost approximately $5 million per biennium and concentrated on promoting Oregon-made liquor. Additionally, the measure would have made permanent a temporary, but longstanding, 50-cent per bottle surcharge on state-produced liquor.
Do you know that the US has enacted a new policy to punish foreign officials who assist fugitives in evading justice? The “Fallon Smart Policy” is named after a Portland teenager whose family has still not received justice for her death, despite the passage of many years:
Oregon has more distilleries than Kentucky, which is known for its bourbon, according to a report published by the Oregon Distillers Guild last year.
Since 2009, when Oregon had only 14 distilleries, the industry has grown exponentially, according to the guild. According to the guild, the majority of the state’s distilleries are small enterprises, with many producing less than 5,000 cases annually.
Advocates for substance abuse treatment in Oregon, however, criticized the concept of an Oregon Spirits Board, arguing that the state should not invest in promoting alcohol when so many Oregonians struggle with dependence. According to data from the Department of public health, Oregon ranks fifth in the nation for alcohol abuse disorders among adolescents and adults.