State Senate Votes to Reverse Policy on Penalizing Liquor Commission for Shortfall

Apr 21, 2016

The N.H. Senate has voted to undo a policy that would penalize the state liquor commission for not hitting financial targets. Senators fear enforcing budgets cuts at liquor will hurt overall state revenues. 

Under a provision tucked into the current state budget, the liquor commission is supposed to trim spending to offset any shortfall in revenue, up to five percent of its budget. Liquor was expected to generate $144 million dollars by July, but is now likely to fall millions of dollars short.

Senators say making the Liquor Commission come up with the shortfall out of its own budget would mean job cuts and store closures. Jeb Bradley is Senate majority leader.

"In particular going into the busy summer season we need to make sure that our liquor stores, our retail stores are well-prepared to do their job."

The liquor commission generated $152 million in profits last year, a record. But is facing increased competition from retailers in neighboring states. A slow winter tourism season is also believed to have hurt sales.