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Governor Calls Bar ID Checks Bad for Business

Sept. 23, 2006 — An amendment requiring all club and bar owners to check the IDs of younger customers is a "burden" and will have a "serious impact" on smaller businesses, according to Gov. Charles W. Turnbull.
In a letter sent Friday to Senate President Lorraine L. Berry, Turnbull said he "objected to" and "disapproved of" the amendment, and would delete it from a rezoning bill approved by senators during a recent legislative session.
"Many of the establishments in the territory are bar-restaurant combinations, Turnbull wrote. There is no clear distinction [in the amendment] for these kinds of facilities. In addition, this legislation will place an additional burden on the owner to check all persons over 18 years, even mature adults. It will have a serious impact, especially on small establishments that do not have the necessary staff to cover all aspects of the operation."
The amendment, introduced by Sen. Terrence "Positive" Nelson, caused concern for many senators during a session held late last month. While Nelson called the measure "preventative," saying it would reduce minors' access to alcohol, other senators said it would "place more restrictions on young people."
Turnbull called the amendment well intentioned, but said that it was still "over broad" and needed some "fine tuning."
But Turnbull said he supported and had signed into law the rest of the rezoning bill. It includes a request to change land owned near the Crown Bay Commercial Center from Waterfront-Industrial to Business-Secondary Neighborhood, along with 22 other non-related amendments.
Those amendments fall into two categories. Some appropriate funds — millions of dollars, in some cases — for various government departments, community projects and organizations. The others make revisions to laws currently on the books. (See "Rezoning Bill Becomes Magnet for Senators' Amendments.")
In his letter to Berry, Turnbull made few comments about the rest of the bill, but noted "with interest" that senators did not, in one amendment, act on recommendations he made to repair certain roads throughout the territory.
" Roads which I have recommended for funding, due to their deteriorated condition and the cries and the petitions of the respective area residents, have been left out of the bill," Turnbull wrote. "I urge the Legislature to revisit those areas and provide the necessary funding to complete these projects."
The amendment identifies a new funding source for $4 million worth of road repairs, which Turnbull had approved last year.
Turnbull also said he hoped another amendment, which eliminates the "Casino I" category from the local Casino Control Act, would not "add an additional burden" for those individuals applying for casino licenses.
At a recent legislative session, however, Sen. Neville James, the amendment's sponsor, said that the measure should not be problematic, since no one has ever applied for a "Casino I" license.
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