A bill criminalizing adults who provide a space for underage drinking died in committee Wednesday morning, but the issue may not be gone.
By a single vote, the Senate State Affairs committee rejected Senate Bill 94, the so-called “social hosting bill.”
That would have made it a misdemeanor for adults to provide a space for a party where they knew there would be underage drinking.
Supporters include Joyce Glynn of White River, whose son died in a car crash after she let him go to a graduation party with alcohol.
Glynn said this bill would help prevent underage drinking and prevent future alcohol-related teen fatalities.
“This social host bill will give law enforcement officers another tool they can use to keep our kids safe,” Glynn said.
But committee members worried the bill was poorly phrased and wouldn’t actually help many people.
“My concern is that all too often, as we run across cases, we want to rely on legislation to be the sole answer to keep our children safe,” said Sen. Corey Brown, R-Gettysburg. “Ultimately, when I look at Senate Bill 94, I don’t see that particular proposal having much of a deterrent effect.”
Despite SB 94’s defeat, sponsor Sen. Larry Lucas, D-Mission, said he’s considering using a parliamentary maneuver to revive the bill on the Senate floor, or to reintroduce a new bill on the subject before Monday’s bill-submission deadline.
“I don’t think the issue’s done with at this point,” Lucas said.