I was glancing through Bill Ritter’s media releases when I happened upon the following:
OFFICE OF GOV. BILL RITTER, JR.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2008 …
GOV. RITTER SIGNS BILL BOOSTING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR THE ARTS
At an art gallery and framing shop in North Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood, Gov. Bill Ritter today signed legislation that will further support Colorado’s burgeoning arts economy, which is rapidly becoming an integral part of neighborhood economic development across the state.
HB 1105 (Frangas/Sandoval) allows art galleries to serve alcohol for up to four hours per day, for no more than 15 days per year. Permits will have to be renewed annually and the alcohol has to be complimentary. The bill requires an annual state art gallery permit fee of $50, and a local license fee of $25.
“This is good for art galleries, their patrons, for businesses and for communities,” Gov. Ritter said during a signing ceremony at Metro Frame Works Custom Framing and 44 T Art Space, owned by Kevin Paul and very often occupied by his greyhounds Milo and Gracie.
“While art is definitely at the center of this, it’s also about other neighborhood businesses — hardware stores, print shops, coffee houses and restaurants included,” Gov. Ritter added. “This is about neighborhoods and building a sense of community.”
The bill won unanimous passage in both the House and Senate.
Well, that’s great — businesses can now occasionally give away alcohol by paying a mere $75 extra per year to the government. Some gift.
But this is not a case of the government “boosting” the arts; it is a case of government no longer hindering business quite as severely.
Real liberty would mean that art galleries and others could give away or sell alcohol, whenever they please, without having to first pay off the state’s bureaucrats.