Law | Politics

Lawmakers consider alcohol zone bill amid Whiteclay lawsuit

The Nebraska Legislature's General Affairs Committee held a hearing on Monday on LB829.

The bill authorizes the creation of "alcohol impact zones." The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission would be able to place restrictions on the sale of liquor in these areas.

"There are areas in Nebraska where such problems occur, and they have made headlines in the press from time to time," Sen. LeRoy Louden told the committee, The Lincoln Journal Star reported. "LB829 can have an impact on the deterioration of these areas and could help lessen the cost to law enforcement that has to contend with these areas."

Louden's district includes Whiteclay, a tiny community where four stores sold nearly 5 million cans of beer in 2010, mostly to members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Critics say the liquor sales contribute to lawlessness and pose a threat to health and public safety.

The tribe has sued the four liquor stores, along with major liquor distributors and manufacturers, in federal court in Nebraska.

Get the Story:
Lawmakers discuss 'alcohol impact zones' (The Lincoln Journal Star 2/14)
Neb. bill targeting Whiteclay faces scrutiny (AP 2/13)

Related Stories:
Kevin Abourezk: Legal doubts in Oglala Sioux Whiteclay suit (2/13)
Kevin Abourezk: Oglala Sioux Tribe in $500M Whiteclay case (2/10)
Oglala Sioux Tribe files lawsuit targeting liquor in Whiteclay (2/9)

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