The deep recession and financial crisis of the past year has affected control state agencies in many ways, just as it has rippled through the entire U.S. economy. However, the surprising results gleaned from the extensive comments we’ve received from control state executives reflect a general resiliency and adaptability on the part of the control states in dealing with the challenging environment. This is the eleventh consecutive year that StateWays has contacted control state officials and asked them to provide an overview of recent initiatives in their respective states. While business may not have been as robust for the states as in recent years, virtually all the control states that responded reported that sales revenues are nevertheless up. And capital improvements are proceeding at a reasonable pace across many states, particularly in modernizing warehouse operations and back-office technology. In addition, several states continue to open new, redesigned retail stores. Most important, regulatory and educational programs are still flourishing throughout the control states, as agencies step up their efforts to combat the misuse and abuse of beverage alcohol products.
As always, new legislation is influencing the way control states can conduct their business; in many cases, this mean progress away from old arcane laws to new modern rules, as in the expanded use of gift cards in state stores and the increase of Sunday and holiday store hours and openings, to name a few. For even more dramatic changes, see the progress Utah made this past year in updating its regulations. Overall, our annual Control States Executive Forum is meant to provide a snapshot of the recent activities throughout the control states. We’d like to thank the various commissioners, chairpersons, directors and administrators from control jurisdictions who took the time to participate.