Task force recommends stripping away Md. comptroller’s alcohol regulation, enforcement powers

As a new Maryland General Assembly session looms, a task force appointed by the state legislature is recommending that Comptroller Peter Franchot’s office be stripped of its power to regulate and enforce alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel laws.

The state should create a new, separate agency to oversee those industries instead, the Task Force to Study State Alcohol Regulation, Enforcement, Safety and Public Health suggested on Monday.  The comptroller’s office would hold onto its duty to collect taxes from the alcohol industry.

Members of the body cited a need for the state to monitor public health considerations tied to alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel, as well as Franchot’s advocacy for reforming craft beer laws as reasons to make the switch.

“What’s been missing is a focus and concentration on public health,” said the task force’s chair, D. Bruce Poole, who suggested the change. “We all know that alcohol has an upside and alcohol has a downside.”

The comptroller’s…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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