Proposal could accidentally prohibit tailgating parties, lawmaker ‘slamming the brakes'

MADISON - A bill that would extend hours for wineries might have an unintended consequence: Outlawing some tailgate parties. 

Our sister station in Madison WISC-TV reports that Rep. John Nygren became aware last week that his proposal could prohibit tailgating around stadiums, especially on private property, such as rental homes near Lambeau Field. 

"Of course being a lifelong Packer fan, a season ticket holder living real close to Lambeau there is no interest in us trying to regulate or make tailgating illegal," Nygren told WISC. "I think there's going to be an effort to try to correct the language, but I don't expect anyone to lose their ability to tailgate."

The bill would extend winery hours from 9 p.m. to midnight. Later amendments prohibited drinking alcohol on certain private properties and said if the property owner is paid for "temporary use of the property by another person for a specific event," alcohol consumption would not be allowed. 

Nygren said the amendments were a compromise between the Tavern League and wineries, aimed at rental properties like barns used for weddings. 

The proposal was approved by a committee and passed the full Assembly by a voice vote. Nygren told WISC-TV that no one had brought up the tailgating concerns until recently. 

"The question was raised and [legislative attorneys] said maybe, so it's not clear," Nygren said.  "You don't want unintended consequences to pop up,so that's why we're slamming the brakes on things a little bit now."  

Since the Assembly is done for the year, he believes the measure will be shifted to the next legislative session. 

"I would expect this to be an effort and conversation that would continue to take place next session, with my main goal being wineries, who are growing rapidly in our state, to have hours more flexible than 9 p.m. that they're currently limited to," Nygren said. 

The Tavern League executive director Pete Madland told WISC-TV that their attorneys did not believe it would affect tailgating and were concerned more about rental venues not licensed to sell alcohol. 
 

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