Review of Iowa Code Chapter 123


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Phase 1 - Iowa Code Chapter 123 Review

On August 10, 2016, Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds tasked the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) and the Iowa Economic Development Authority with working in partnership to perform an unprecedented review of Iowa's alcohol laws and identify opportunities to improve commerce, cut red tape, and create regulatory clarity while protecting public health and public safety.

The agencies convened a working group of stakeholders representing all three tiers of the alcoholic beverages industry, public safety, and the general public. The working group held a series of eight public meetings and heard testimony from Iowa and national alcohol manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, as well as public health and public safety representatives, prevention advocates, law enforcement officials, and members of the public.

On February 1, 2017, the agencies presented a report of recommendations to Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds. The recommendations were intended to create greater economic opportunities for Iowa entrepreneurs, make it easier and more efficient for Iowans to conduct business with state government, make Iowa's alcohol laws easier to understand and enforce, and result in public policy that continues to protect the health and safety of Iowans.

Download the Comprehensive Review of Iowa Code Chapter 123 (PDF, 9.84 MB, opens in a new window).

Phase 2 - Licensing Reform Initiative

One of the recommendations from the initial working group was to conduct a further review of licensing, administrative actions, and administrative appeals for reform opportunities. Specific topics to be reviewed included, but were not limited to, consolidation of license/permit classifications, the appropriate balance of responsibilities between local authorities (city councils and county boards of supervisors) and the State in the alcohol licensing process, and whether active enforcement measures properly serve as deterrents.

Beginning in October 2017 and concluding in June 2018, ABD, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Safety, conducted a series of eight public forums across the state. Local authorities, local law enforcement, public health and substance abuse prevention groups, retail licensees/permittees, and others attended the forums to share how Iowa's alcohol licensing laws affect their communities today and how the process could be improved in the future.

After consideration of the feedback received, as well as analysis of exiting law, ABD submitted a report of recommendations to Governor Reynolds, Lt. Governor Gregg, and the Iowa legislature on March 18, 2019.  These recommendations were intended to streamline the alcohol licensing process, help ensure a fair and level playing field within the alcoholic beverages industry in Iowa, and allow for greater discussion and consideration of those policy changes that may have a substantive impact.

Download the ABD Licensing Reform Initiative - Report of Recommendations (PDF, 977 KB, opens in a new window).