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GCP-backed amendment changes population threshold for HB 47 open container exemption

The Greater Cleveland Partnership was successful this week in getting an amendment to HB 47 (Refreshment Areas – Open Container Exemption) that will change the population threshold for the F-8 liquor permit.

Alesha Washington, GCP's Senior Director of Government Advocacy, testified before the Senate State and Local Government Committee on the importance of this change. The F-8 permit allows nonprofit organizations that manage publicly owned spaces to host events, up to nine months out of the year, that serve alcohol. The population threshold in current law only applies to Hamilton County but with the change, Cuyahoga and Franklin counties also would be eligible to apply.

Click to read the testimony.

"Seeking the change to the F-8 permit was an important step in ensuring that, in the short-term, we can plan a dynamic series of events on Public Square during the week of the 2016 Republican National Convention, but long-term, we maximize Public Square as an a civic asset for years to come," said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. "We are grateful for the support of our legislative partners in the Senate and House that helped make this possible." 

The F-8 Permit would enable nonprofit organizations, such as Downtown Cleveland Alliance, to apply for the permit in partnership with the City of Cleveland to plan events during the warmer months on the soon-to-be renovated Public Square that will attract visitors from throughout the region.

With the Senate's passage, HB 47 is now headed back to the House for consideration of the Senate amendments. If the House concurs with these changes, it will be finalized and sent to the Governor to be signed into law.