Ohio Bill Targets Nonprofit Booze Laws

Things soon might get significantly more jolly at nonprofits and churches in Ohio. A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the state legislature to make it easier for organizations to give away baskets of booze and use them as prizes in raffles.

Ohio House Bill 389 is “intended to permit churches, nonprofits and charitable organizations the ability to gift away alcohol at fundraising events.” It is intended to clear up the sometimes archaic laws in Ohio regarding alcohol.

The bill is sponsored by state representatives John M. Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) and John Becker (R-Union Twp., Clermont County). It specifically targets gifting a basket of cheer at auctions and other events. “Ohio law does not permit this practice without the sponsoring organization having obtained a particular liquor license,” the sponsors said in a press release. 

Any alcohol that would be given away or raffled off by a church or nonprofit organization would have to be stored in sealed containers for off-premises consumption, according to the language of the bill.

Media outlets in Ohio have quoted Becker and Rogers as saying their bill has bipartisan support from at least 23 additional legislators, “including members of House leadership from both sides of the aisle.”

The bill next goes to a House committee then if it gets past that review goes to the full state House of Representatives. Ohio media outlets are also reporting that Becker has sponsored separate legislation to allow bars, restaurants and liquor stores to treat Sundays just as they would any other day of the week. They currently have to go through a local ballot initiative to do so.