March 10, 2018

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Senator Cowles Stands With Tailgaters

Cowles Opposes Changes to AB 433 that Could Ruin Packers’ Gameday Culture

GREEN BAY– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement in response to Assembly Substitute Amendment 1 on Assembly Bill 433:

“While we are still six months away from tailgating season in Green Bay, last-minute moves in Madison put this gameday tradition at risk. Among insiders, the end of a Legislative Session is often referred to as ‘silly season’, largely as a result of last-minute efforts to get bills completed before the Session is adjourned. It’s with despair that I say silly season has struck again, and this time, it’s taking aim at tailgating.

“On Sundays in Fall, Green Bay comes to a halt as the city roots on our Packers. But before kickoff, there’s a tradition surrounding pregame festivities at Lambeau that’s revered by residents and visitors alike. While I supported Assembly Bill 433, a bill with the worthy intention of extending the hours of operations for wineries, recent changes to this bill mean that tailgating could soon be against the law.

“While tailgaters are not the intended target of this legislation, events like Packers’ gameday are the unintended consequences of the amended bill. Tailgating is synonymous with not only Green Bay, but Wisconsin, and I believe it is simply unreasonable to ask a homeowner to apply for a liquor license to allow a few tailgaters to get ready for gameday in their yard.

“While I still support the initial legislation and understand the conditions that led tavern owners to push this amendment, I feel there are too many unintended consequences to see this bill passed. As a result, I have withdrawn my co-sponsorship of Assembly Bill 433 and choose to stand with the valued tradition of enjoying a beer and brat with friends in the frozen tundra.”

The nonpartisan Legislative Council prepared a memo on Assembly Substitute Amendment 1. That memo may be found on the Legislature’s webpage at this link.