An Indiana House committee approved a bill that could put an embattled privatization deal back on track by allowing a politically connected developer to sell alcohol at proposed restaurants and a bar at Indiana Dunes State Park.
The House Public Policy Committee voted 12-0 Thursday in favor of a bill by Rep. Sean Eberhart, a Shelbyville Republican. The measure would allow the Department of Natural Resources to obtain liquor permits for state parks.
That would allow Valparaiso businessman Chuck Williams of Pavilion Partners to bypass a state agency that denied him a liquor permit.
Williams says alcohol is needed to make his venture profitable, and a permit refusal could void his contract, requiring the state to reimburse him.
Opponents say the park should be free of commercials interests