By THOMAS CURRY

INDIANAPOLIS - Just moments after HB 1496's conference committee report was released to the public, Ricker's CEO Jay Ricker told members of the media that he was “shocked” and felt “signaled out” by the legislation. HB 1496, the cold beer sales bill which took the statehouse by storm just a few weeks ago, now calls for canceling some liquor licenses as early as May 14th of this year.

The conference committee report creates a law that states “a restaurant may not sell carryout alcohol unless of at least 60% of its gross retail income is derived from sales of alcoholic beverages consumed on the premises.” A number of exceptions were made to the rule, including exempting breweries and golf courses among other types of establishments.

However, the conference committee report added the requirement that entities issued a carry out license between Oct. 31 2016 and May 14 2017 must meet the 60% requirement. Ricker’s was issued licenses for two locations in November and December 2016 which means they aren't exempt from the new law on carry out.

The bill will be voted on sometime tomorrow, the targeted end date of session, and is expected to pass the House on concurrence.

CEO Jay Ricker said, “We hear they are really twisting arms very hard” when it came to the leadership rallying votes and that he feels “the leadership is specifically going after us.” Ricker went on to say, “It looks like everyone else pretty much gets accepted except us.” Both Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate Pro Temp David Long have said that they feel Rickers being issued carry out licenses go against the “spirit of the law” and that the thought a gas station is allowed to sell is ridiculous.

Ricker said that the bill “doesn’t take our license away but takes away our ability to sell cold carry out” and that he still feels discouraged. “I always thought they listened to their constituents...there’s nothing in here about a study committee to look at the issue. There needs to be a deep dive on this.”

When asked what options he will peruse to stop the bill, Ricker, “I always hate to talk about legal action until we exhaust all our options” and that he will attempt to convince the Governor to not sign it into law.