For years, lawmakers in Montgomery have questioned the role of Alabama's Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) board in ways ranging from its participation in the wholesale and retail marketplaces to how it enforces existing laws and regulations pertaining to the sale of liquor.

The agency, a relic of last century's Prohibition era, has taken on many roles, including discouraging underage drinking and enforcing the 2020 COVID-19 mask mandate.

State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine) said he believed there will be efforts to diminish the role of the ABC Board.

During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," the Baldwin County Republican legislator questioned the tasks the ABC Board has adopted as a function of the state government.

"You know, I came to Montgomery with a very open mind about the ABC Board," he said. "And I have certainly sought the input of friends on both sides of that issue and folks that know that issue very well. I have, unfortunately, come to the conclusion that I come to so often in dealing with policy issues, and that is: Is this something that the government should really be involved in? And the answer is no. I mean, the answer is just no. And I think you'll see a continued push, I think, to unwind the ABC Board over time."

"[I]f you look at what's happening, if you look at how it is run if you look at what's available to consumers — I mean, just on every different front, you kind of shake your head and go, 'Why are they involved in this?' We wouldn't be involved in any other business like this. And I think that you see that these small issues, like the one you bring up with the advertising and the Contract Review Committee – it gives people an opportunity to pause and go, 'What are we doing here? And why are we doing it? And should we be?' And I think that's something we need to ask across all levels of government."

Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.