Tavern League Has Annual Meeting With State Officials
By Donnelly Clare
The Portage County Tavern League gets one chance each year to formally meet with state lawmakers, where each March league members head to Madison for what they call “legislative day”.
“It’s the one day we get to hear what the state thinks about some of the laws they’re debating- it’s a big deal,” said tavern league secretary Mary Tepp, owner of Post Road Pub in Plover.
The league listened to Governor Walker and other state officials discuss small business contribution to the state’s economy as well as some of the contributions the Tavern League has made to making roadways safer.
“Since 2007 the proactive measures taken by the Tavern League, specifically the “Safe Ride” program have caused a drop of over 35% in alcohol related driving issues such as injuries and deaths,” said league member Jason Glisczynski, owner of Players’ Lounge in Stevens Point.
Mike Slowinski, President of the Portage Co. Tavern League and owner of Slo’s Place, said league members had a chance to discuss potential legislation lawmakers could soon turn into law.
Some of those issues included a 19 year-old drinking law, the “Alaska Brown Jug” law- which allows taverns to press charges against underage patrons- increasing the cost of a liquor license and sobriety checkpoints.
“We got to talk to (Assemblywoman Katrina) Shankland, and she’s very receptive,” Slowsinski said.
Slowinski the league told Shankland the increase in liquor license fees from $500 to $2500 was unfair, and also said sobriety checkpoints don’t work.
“Saturation controls work better. Once people find out where the (checkpoints) are, they avoid that area. They’re too expensive to run, so it’s so labor- intensive it doesn’t pay.”