BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          Date of Hearing:  July 8, 2015


                   ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION


                                  Adam Gray, Chair


          SB  
          685 (McGuire) - As Amended June 25, 2015


          SENATE VOTE:  40-0


          SUBJECT:  Alcoholic beverage service: veterans' club license.


          SUMMARY:  Authorizes a holder of a veterans' club license to  
          sell and serve alcoholic beverages for consumption within the  
          licensed establishment to members of other veterans'  
          organizations, active duty or reserve members of the Armed  
          Forces, or veterans, as well as to the members of the veterans'  
          organization and their guests.  Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Expands the privileges of the holder of a veterans' club  
          license by allowing such clubs to also serve and sell alcoholic  
          beverages to bona fide members of other veterans' organizations,  
          active duty or reserve members of the Armed Forces, or veterans  
          defined in Section 18540.4 of the Government Code.





          2)Specifies that a bona fide member of a veterans' organization,  
          bona fide guest, active duty or reserve member of the Armed  








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          Forces, or veteran is not required to sign a roster before  
          purchasing or being served alcoholic beverages for consumption.





          3)Declares legislative intent to expand the rights of a holder  
          of a veterans' club license to serve and sell alcoholic  
          beverages.    


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Establishes the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)  
          and grants it exclusive authority to administer the provisions  
          of the Act in accordance with laws enacted by the Legislature.   
          This involves licensing individuals and businesses associated  
          with the manufacture, importation and sale of alcoholic  
          beverages in this state and the collection of license fees for  
          this purpose.





          2)Defines "club" to mean a corporation or association which is  
          the owner, lessee, or occupant of an establishment operated  
          solely for objects of a social or athletic nature but not for  
          pecuniary gain, having a bona fide membership list, and the  
          majority of the members of which pay dues at least once in every  
          year, and the property as well as the advantages of which belong  
          to the members, and which sells alcoholic beverages only to its  
          members and its bona fide guests.  (B & P Code Section 23037)












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          3)Provides for the issuance of a "club" license allowing the  
          sale of alcoholic beverages to a plethora of clubs/organizations  
          (e.g., golf club, swimming club, tennis club, horse riding club,  
          beach and athletic club, handball or racquetball club, nonprofit  
          mobile homeowners social club, national fraternal organizations,  
          rod and gun club, peace officers and firefighters associations,  
          nonprofit social and religious club, National Guard or Air  
          National Guard club, labor council, American Citizens club,  
          local dental society club, condominium homeowners' association,  
          Hidalgo Society, nonprofit lawn bowls club, etc.).





          4)Authorizes the issuance of a "veterans" club license and  
          defines veteran to mean any person who has served in the United  
          States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as  
          an active nurse in the service of the American Red Cross, or in  
          the Army and Navy Nurse Corps in time of war, or in any  
          expedition of the Armed Forces of the United States, or who has  
          served in one of these services during the period September 16,  
          1940, to December 7, 1941, and received a discharge under  
          conditions other than dishonorable.  (B & P Code Section 23450)





          5)Defines "veteran" to mean any person who has served full time  
          in the Armed Forces in time of national emergency or state  
          military emergency or during an expedition of the Armed Forces  
          and who has been discharged or released under conditions other  
          than dishonorable.  (Government Code Section 18540.4)












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          6)Provides that the holder of a veterans' club license may  
          exercise all of the rights and privileges permitted by an  
          on-sale general license but may sell and serve alcoholic  
          beverages for consumption within the licensed establishment only  
          to bona fide members of the veterans' organization and their  
          bona fide guests.     


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS:  


           Purpose of the bill  . Over the years, numerous "club" licenses  
          have been added to the Act allowing the license holder to sell  
          and serve alcoholic beverages for consumption within the  
          licensed establishment and "only" to members of the club and  
          their guests. 





          The existing veterans' club license was first established during  
          World War II and was developed to allow veterans organizations  
          to operate as a clubhouse for members and their guests.  There  
          are currently approximately 317 of these licenses that are  
          authorized to sell and serve alcoholic beverages only to bona  
          fide members of the club and their guests for consumption within  
          the licensed establishment. 





          According to the author's office, this bill is intended to  
          broaden the scope of "veterans" that can be served alcoholic  








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          beverages on the club's premises thereby increasing  
          opportunities for fundraising to support programs that provide  
          assistance to veterans. 





           In support  :  Proponents note that this bill gives veterans  
          organization posts which hold a veteran's club license the  
          opportunity to sell and serve alcohol within the licensed  
          establishment to a greater universe of veterans, as specified.    
             





           In opposition  :   Opponents argue that as currently drafted, this  
          bill does not provide any particular format for law enforcement  
          or the ABC to differentiate between a bona fide guest and a  
          private individual who enters the club for purposes of alcohol  
          consumption.  Opponents believe some sort of sign-up sheet or  
          roster identifying guests and the club member should be required  
          as a condition for alcohol purchase or consumption.


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          AMVETS, Department of California


          American Legion, Department of California








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          California Association of County Veterans Service Officers


          California State Commanders Veterans Council


          Military Officers Association of America, California Council of  
          Chapters


          Jewish War Veterans


          Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California


          Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council




          Opposition


          California Council on Alcohol Problems




          Analysis Prepared by:Eric Johnson / G.O. / (916)  
          319-2531














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