2023 Legislative Summit
The Alaska CHARR board met in Juneau for our legislative fly-in. Board
members met with legislators to discuss the industry’s ongoing issues and the importance they have on the businesses in our communities.
Alaska CHARR and the hospitality industry’s 2023 legislative priorities
In many other states, persons aged 18-20 are allowed to sell or serve alcohol, and more states are joining that list as they experience the same ongoing hospitality labor shortages that Alaska is experiencing. Employers are unable to promote or retain quality employees who are 18-20 because they are unable to take or deliver alcohol orders. Alaska is not competitive with other states in that regard, including those with more conservative alcohol laws like Washington state which recently updated its laws to allow young adults to sell or serve alcohol.
Moreover, other businesses that support the hospitality industry – including food distributors, cleaners, and restaurant suppliers – are experiencing similar labor shortages and often hire younger people to deliver products and provide services. Those vendor employees are currently prohibited from entering the premises of liquor licensees, creating challenges for both the hospitality businesses and their vendors.
Alaska CHARR is asking that the Alaska Legislature pass legislation that would allow for persons 18-20 to serve and sell alcohol or enter and remain on a licensed premises for other employment purposes, including under employment by a vendor or support business
Shared Liability for Liquor Licenses
Alaska has the third worst rating of any state for providing liquor liability insurance, primarily due to the current strict liability law which puts sole liability on a business and zero liability on a consumer. Insurance providers are pulling out of Alaska, resulting in businesses around the state being told that they either cannot obtain liability insurance at all, or seeing rate hikes as much as 700% in a single year. As a result, businesses are having to choose either to not carry liability insurance or to close their doors – neither of which is good for public safety or the economy.
Alaska CHARR is asking that the Alaska Legislature pass legislation that would make Alaska a shared liability state – consistent with nearly all other states – placing at least some responsibility on the consumer for his/her own actions.