The Cap Times | Legislative committee considers licensing Wisconsin wedding barns

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As a legislative committee considers updating Wisconsin’s liquor licensing laws, we’ve pointed out how their efforts may very well shut down the increasingly popular wedding barn venues.

All sides agree the state’s alcohol laws as written are convoluted, often ambiguous and riddled with exceptions, making them hard to enforce and interpret.

“Twenty pages of law, 200 pages of exceptions, no wonder why everybody is confused by it,” Johnson said.

The committee threw out an earlier proposal that would have put parameters around consuming alcohol at a series of events. Chairman Rep. Rob Swearingen, R-Rhinelander, said the earlier proposal was not aimed at eliminating tailgating or private dinner parties, but some conservative groups said it would be construed that way and opposed it.

The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and Americans for Prosperity in Wisconsin have criticized efforts to regulate wedding barns, calling them protectionist and arguing that it would drive new kinds of businesses out of the market.

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