The LRA Advocacy Team is proud of the work our team accomplished on behalf of our members during the 2022 Legislative Session, which wrapped June 6. This session saw numerous bills filed that had potential to impact our industry in significant ways at a time when food, labor and operating costs are creating stress for LRA members. Of significant concern to restaurant profitability were numerous bills that proposed establishing a state minimum wage, with some offering annual CPI based increases. This year saw varying approaches including a ballot referendum proposing a constitutional amendment with others in statute. All of these bills were defeated in their initial committee hearing. A bill requiring paid sick leave for employers of as few as five workers was also defeated in committee.
As the only industry that has a tip credit while still requiring the employer to guaranty at least minimum wage, the LRA took the lead on defeating legislation seeking to double the tip credit wage from $2.13 to $4.26. We are grateful to LRA Baton Rouge members Megan Klock of Ruffino's and Kevin Kimball of Wayne Stabiler Enterprises for testifying before the House Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations on how our industry workforce is compensated and stories on their business operations. This type of first hand member testimony is invaluable to our lobbying efforts.
The LRA also pushed for the passage of legislation that included renewed funding for tourism promotion from ARPA funds and a rewrite to how we solicit and fund major and regional events. This effort funds incentives to bid major national and regional sports, political and entertainment events. There was an initial appropriation this year and we will work to grow this next session. For the first time up to 50% of the state sales tax impact when determined after these events will be returned to these funds to invent the next round of events. Special thanks to House Speaker Clay Schexnayder who put his name and efforts behind passing both of these key pieces of legislation.
The LRA developed, negotiated and led in the passing of a package of bills that expand opportunities for Louisiana based craft breweries. Thanks to the ATC, Beer Industry League and the Craft Brewers Guild for partnering to create this legislation. In general, this will provide the opportunity to self distribute if desired, open additional tap rooms with breweries, transfer product between breweries and continue to utilize wholesale distribution, should they desire. A separate bill will provide each brewery location to host up to 12 events per year at their taprooms, allow for using a licensed caterer for food and outside alcohol and continue to allow families to attend these events. This package has gone to Governor Edwards.
The LRA, in two separate bills, included preemption of local delivery fees for restaurants statewide. If signed into law, only a state ATC restaurant delivery permit would be required. Additionally one of these bills will allow a restaurant with a delivery permit to sell wine in the original manufacturer sealed bottle with restaurant food for curbside pickup.
And, after this year's confusion regarding the repeal of the restaurant wholesale seafood permit through Wildlife and Fisheries license fee increase last year, the prior regulation was adopted that will return the permit process to what we followed in up to in the end of 2020. It will require only a single annual permit application and fee.
For the New Orleans members, we pushed the passage of legislation that will allow the City Council to have input and review of the Sewerage & Water Board's billing processes. Too many LRA members report significant fluctuation in their water bills with little to no explanation. This should bring some transparency to this process.
During this term we have been fortunate that the House Speaker Schexnayder and Senate President Page Cortez started with their first jobs in the restaurant industry. They both have an open door to our lobby team and have been very supportive of addressing industry needs.