Lawmaker plans bills over how the DABC does business

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SALT LAKE CITY — A state senator is planning to unveil a pair of bills that would change aspects of how Utah’s liquor control authority does business.

Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, has scheduled a Wednesday news conference to unveil the bills targeting Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Speaking to FOX 13, she offered some details about what the bills would do: one would create a sort-of “ombudsman” to deal with customer, employee and vendor issues; another would give the agency more control of the millions of dollars it generates — but up to a point.

Mayne has been outspoken in her criticism of how the DABC is run, especially when it comes to employee morale issues. As the sole provider of hard liquor and wine in the state, the DABC generates millions in profits but has no control over its own budget (that is set by the legislature).

Mayne told FOX 13 her bills would not address customer “wish lists” for things like privatization or even coolers to sell beer. Rather, it would be focused on the agency’s operations. Governor Gary Herbert and Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, who has been tasked with overseeing liquor legislation in the state, have said they favor state control of liquor sales.