DABC Requests Change to Agency Funding to Increase Employee Wages

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) on June 15 presented a new funding proposal to the Legislature’s Business and Labor Interim Committee. In the past eight years, the agency has increased revenue by 60% but experiences 86% employee turnover due to low pay. Last year, employee turnover cost the DABC $1,272,945 due to hiring and training costs.

DABC Executive Director Sal Petilos explained the current budget allocation to the agency from the state’s General Fund is not enough to meet operational expenses and increase pay. DABC proposed the state consider providing it with a percentage of the agency’s gross revenue. This additional funding would go toward hiring additional people, increasing wages and training, and improving customer service.

Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, made a motion to open a committee bill file to address this issue, and vowed to work with Rep. Tim Hawkes, R-Centerville, and the agency to come up with a solution. The motion carried unanimously with Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, the committee chairman, stating the request is reasonable, and employees need to be treated better.