Republicans are the party of small, hands-off government or so we’re told. They talk ad nauseam about small business and removing all the unnecessary and burdensome government regulations so those businesses are free to do what they do best, run their business.

And in Indiana, one of the reddest states in the country, one would think this would be the case. In Indiana, the House, the Senate and the Governor’s Office are all controlled by the GOP. So, given this fact, the likely conclusion would be that small businesses would have almost free reign to run their establishment as they see fit. Whether it’s the hours of operation or what product the business is going to sell, who better to make those type of decisions than the business itself, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Ricker’s gas station took advantage of a loophole in the law that allowed them to apply for and then receive a permit to sell cold beer. They simply opened restaurants at two of their locations, following the law as written.

However, Republican lawmakers in both Indiana’s House and the Senate knew better than the business. The House passed a bill 84-13 (which is made up of 70 Republicans) and the Senate passed a bill 43-1 (which is composed of 41 Republicans) to close the loophole.

The gas station is allowed to keep its license through the next April. However, after that point the gas station will have to make 60 percent of its profit from the selling of food in order to keep its license.

Let us not forget that in Indiana, you cannot buy alcohol on Sundays, period. Go in a Wal-Mart on Sunday and you’ll literally see the alcohol aisle roped off.  But grab lunch at a favorite restaurant and want a beer? No problem, which makes total sense.

Now, the bill is headed to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk.

Lawmakers telling a business what they can and cannot sell, when the product is legal, is mind-boggling. Add to that this is coming from the party of small government and less regulation and it becomes sadly comical.

– BZ

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