Alaska’s Alcohol Control Board voted on two measures that, if approved by the governor, would relax alcohol laws during the coronavirus pandemic to ease the financial pain it is inflicting on restaurants. With no legal authority, the board’s votes act as advice to Governor Mike Dunleavy, requesting that he take action. Attorney Jessica Brown argued that if no relief comes for the struggling industry, hundreds to thousands of jobs could be lost. Ms. Brown said a lawsuit challenging any regulation changes would take months or years to play out, well after any changes have already been reversed. There is minimal legal risk, she said, and the board must act now.
“I would go so far as to say it’s the board’s moral obligation to do so,” Ms. Brown said. Legality “is a question for down the road.”
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