Senator Russell Olson (R-8/Wentworth) enjoyed his beer in his youth. he evidently doesn't want to make it any harder for today's kids to party with a few cold ones, either. A couple weeks ago, he voted with his fellow GOP leaders to kill Senate Bill 94, which would have made it a Class 1 misdemeanor to host a party where kids drink alcohol. Hosting a beer party for 18–20-year-olds would have been a less serious Class 2 misdemeanor.
This morning, Senator Olson gets another chance to fight for your right to paaaa-arty: SB 94 prime sponsor and State Affairs committee member Sen. Larry Lucas (D-26/Mission) brings Senate Bill 225, which does pretty much the same thing as SB 94. The language of SB 225 is shorter and more straightforward:
Section 1. ...Any person who keeps or maintains a place which is resorted to by persons under the ages of eighteen to illegally consume any alcoholic beverage is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Section 2. ...Any person who keeps or maintains a place which is resorted to by persons between the ages of eighteen to twenty to illegally consume any alcoholic beverage is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
That's tougher than SB 94, which aimed penalties at folks who act as "social hosts"—i.e., the folks who open the door and say "Party here!" SB 225 appears to impose liability on any property owner where a party happens, whether or not the owner played any role in making that party happen. If you're a farmer, and your land includes a slough out in the CRP acres, and those darn kids sneak out there for the senior kegger, SB 225 nails you.
That may sound harsh, but social host laws appear to work. States that penalize adults for facilitating youth drinking also have less drunk-driving and heavy drinking.
Science and restrictions on alcohol: Senator Olson hates that! Senator Olson wouldn't vote for SB 94; he won't vote this morning for SB 225. Party on, kids! Russ has your back!