Legislative issues of importance to ABL include:
Swipe Fee Reform
Credit and debit card swipe fees are an enormous – and growing – cost for merchants and consumers. The average American household pays hundreds of dollars a year in swipe fees, which are part of the cost of virtually every transaction they make. Nearly $2 of every $100 consumers spend when they pay with plastic goes directly to credit card companies and big banks. ABL is fighting for a more competitive and transparent credit and debit card fee system that better serves American consumers and merchants alike. ABL oppose any attempts to delay implementation of the much-needed reforms passed in the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform bill of 2010.
Long-term Solutions for Drunk Driving and Recidivism
Beverage licensees are stakeholders when it comes to preventing drunk driving. They are engaged in state and local-level policy discussions concerning drunk driving in hope that they may be part of the solution. They support efforts to close legal loopholes in order to better protect their communities from drunk drivers. That has meant supporting graduated sentencing with required ignition interlocks for hardcore and repeat offenders, and other permanent approaches that address recidivism including and incorporating a thorough approach that includes assessment, treatment, monitoring and judicial discretion. ABL does not believe these goals can be achieved through cookie-cutter, unfunded mandates.
Responsible Alcohol Sales and Underage Access Prevention
With 65% of youth-consumed alcohol coming from family and friends, parents have the greatest influence on minors’ decisions to drink and should not provide alcohol to anyone under the legal purchase age. ABL has worked as a cosponsor of the Federal Trade Commission’s We Don’t Serve Teens underage drinking prevention campaign, voicing its complete opposition to underage alcohol purchases. Through education, server and seller training, and heightened awareness, ABL’s goal is to ensure that licensed establishments do not allow anyone under the age of 21 to purchase alcohol.
Supporting the 21st Amendment
ABL strongly supports the Three-Tier System and a state’s right to implement beverage alcohol policies that are legal, efficient and responsible, while also recognizing the Federal role in fair trade and other issues. ABL is quick to acknowledge that policies that work in one state may not work in another, and encourages its members to stand up for their rights and participate in state legislatures and in the legislative process in general.
Beverage Alcohol Taxes
Increasing beverage alcohol taxes penalize responsible, middle-income consumers, not alcohol abusers. A tax on beverage alcohol is also a tax on the hospitality industry – threatening the 3.7 million employees of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Beverage alcohol suppliers, wholesalers and retailers already pay government at the federal, state and local level $2 in taxes for every $1 they earn by the sale of beer, wine and spirits. ABL works with suppliers, wholesalers and retailers to oppose all alcohol and hospitality tax increases.