Representatives John Rogers (D-Mentor-On-The-Lake) and John Becker (R-Union Township, Clermont County) announced Wednesday the introduction of House Bill 389, bipartisan legislation intended to permit churches, nonprofits and charitable organizations the ability to gift away alcohol at fundraising events.

The bill is intended to address a common occurrence of gifting away a “basket of cheer” at a raffle, silent auction or other fundraising event. Currently, Ohio law does not permit this practice without the sponsoring organization having obtained a particular liquor license.

“When the pastor of my church brought to my attention an Ohio law prohibiting giving away bottles of wine or bottles of liquor at a fundraising event without having first obtaining a particular liquor permit, I felt that this bill was an important fix to that would benefit Ohio’s churches and other charitable organizations,” Rep. Rogers said. “Most of these organizations are gifting these items away as is, without the knowledge of the law requiring them to obtain a proper permit. There is no need for our local churches and community organizations to be unknowingly breaking the law while in the process of raising funds to continue efforts that benefit so many here in Ohio. This proposal addresses that issue and helps them in their efforts.”
“I am honored to join Rep. Rogers in cutting red tape to allow Ohio’s churches and other nonprofit organizations to raise funds more easily,” Rep. Becker said.  “As we approach Thanksgiving, now is the perfect time to introduce a bill which would bring joy to the numerous ministries who benefit from such organizations.”
In addition to Representatives Rogers and Becker, the bill has the wide bipartisan support of 23 additional legislators, including members of House leadership from both sides of the aisle. The proposal currently awaits referral to committee before advancing through the Ohio House of Representatives.