The new year will hold less fine print and maybe less booze as new laws take effect Saturday.
Those laws will force car dealers to more clearly explain their offers; end temporary licenses to sell alcohol to the public unless groups are registered non-profits and require insurance companies to give people with serious medical conditions a break on costs if they dump their doctors from their networks.
South Carolina lawmakers inadvertently cut the flow of alcohol to events run by individuals, caterers and even their own political campaigns when they passed a bill this year intended to make it easier for non-profits to get temporary alcohol permits. In the process, they nixed temporary permits for groups that don't qualify for nonprofit status under the federal tax code.
Tom Sponseller, president of the Hospitality Association of South Carolina, says the first big casualty appears to be an event at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center next month that brings microbreweries together to let the public sample their suds.
"Everyone's trying to figure how do we keep the event going," Sponseller said. Meanwhile, it appears to have nixed even some festivals and events that local governments put on weekly or monthly. Sponseller expects legislators to quickly repeal the law in January.