The one constituency you don’t want to piss off while fixing state budgets are the beer drinkers in your state. Austerity programs in Minnesota that remove employees who process the paper work by which liquor licenses are handled have threatened to reduce beer consumption across the state.
MINNEAPOLIS – Miller, Coors and other popular beers may disappear from Minnesota stores and bars within days because brewing giant MillerCoors lacks the proper licenses due to the state’s government shutdown.
MillerCoors has 39 “brand label registrations” with the state that expired last month, and the employees who process renewals were laid off when state government shut down July 1 in a budget dispute, Doug Neville, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said Wednesday.
MillerCoors spokesman Julian Green said the brewer still hopes to resolve the dispute through discussions with state alcohol regulators, but didn’t rule out legal action.
Green said MillerCoors submitted its paperwork and the check on time, on the 13th. Neville said the state didn’t receive them until June 15, two days after the registrations expired.
Whether it was the 13th or 15th might not have mattered because the check was for $1,380, a $210 overpayment, Green said. That delayed the process. The state received a second check for the right amount on June 27, he said.
But by that time, Neville said, employees in the department’s alcohol enforcement division didn’t have time to process the renewals before they were laid off. On top of that, he said, the computer database they use to process renewals was taken offline along with some other systems so the department’s skeleton IT crew can concentrate on maintaining more critical systems relied upon by law enforcement agencies.
Green added that Minnesota is one of the brewer’s largest markets. “We have pretty significant volume there,” Green said. SOURCE
Yeah, and summer is the greatest beer consumption time of the year.
It may be one thing to face an angry crowd of laid off teachers and state workers who were axed as a result of state budget cuts, but when they and other hard working people can’t find refreshment to drown their social and job-related sorrows in a few pitchers of brew, then you may have a modern day Shay’s Rebellion on your hands. Especially when beer drinkers find out that some of those legislators who voted for the cuts are still employed and receiving their checks on time.