When I first moved here the State never allowed wine to be sold in grocery stores. I recall when liquor was debated and finally voted on in Seattle changing what was state run liquor stores to privately held ones and that grocery stores also could sell hard liquor led to a great deal of frustration, confusion and some business failures but the reality is that crime did not rise and the taxes collected on liquor grew and Tennessee like Washington is a no income tax state. Add to this the taxes on Marijuana sales from the legal aspect contributes to the pool of resources and again no the state did not fall off the map. And despite global warming and melting of the State of California it has not either.
But Jesus blood here dictates all the hysteria about anything. The deadpool here includes variations of the bathroom bill, the guns for Teachers and of course other right wing paranoia that matters more than actual legislation that would contribute to the well being of Tennessee residents - such as transit, roads and repairing/building schools and health care.
But hey we may be able to get a bottle of plonk on Sunday to drink away our frustration.
House passes bill to allow wine sales in grocery stores on Sundays, holidays
Joel Ebert, USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee Published April 9, 2018 |
After a lengthy debate that featured several biblical references, House lawmakers approved a bill Monday that would allow Tennesseans to buy wine in grocery stores on Sundays and most major holidays.
The legislation, HB 1540, would align hours of wine sales at grocery stores with beer sales, with some exceptions. It would also allow liquor stores to be open on Sundays.
Current law prohibits wine and liquor to be sold on major holidays and between 11 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Monday.
After an hour of debate, the chamber approved the measure with a 55-35 vote.
The legislation was crafted as part of a compromise between various stakeholders, including liquor and grocery store owners.
More: Bill allowing wine, liquor sales on Sundays given early approval
The bill includes the following provisions:
permits liquor stores to immediately begin operating seven days a week;
delays Sunday wine sales in grocery stores until Jan. 1;
allows retail package stores and food stores to operate from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays;
places caps on the number of licenses for liquor stores for three years; and
allows liquor stores to mark up their products 10 percent.
As the chamber debated the measure, several lawmakers sought to alter the bill. One amendment from Rep. Tim Wirgau, R-Buchanan, would have prohibited wine and liquor sales on federally recognized holidays. The amendment was not added to the bill.
In another amendment, Wirgau tried to halt sales on Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, to which the bill's sponsor Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, agreed.
Later speaking against the bill, Wirgau pleaded with the chamber to join him in voting it down while twice referring to himself in the third person.
Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, who sponsored his own amendment, which was rejected, to limit Sunday sales to one hour, asked the body to pull back on the effort. "We need to consider moderation," he said.
Sexton said to vote on the bill would be a move to tell people when should be able to consume alcohol. He said that would be akin to telling people when they "can or can't have a joint of marijuana or maybe a snort of cocaine."
Arguing against the bill, Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, read two excerpts from the Holy Bible.
"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy," he said, later questioning the faith of lawmakers who vote in favor of the bill.
Rep. Tim Rudd, R-Murfreesboro, argued the legislation was not about free enterprise but about the "continued indoctrination of our youth."
"This teaches our children that alcohol is like food and soda pop," he said.
As several lawmakers spoke against the bill, they acknowledged the prospects of the measure's defeat were unlikely.
Although mainly critics shared their views during the debate, Rep. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, said she supported the measure because it sought to make shopping more convenient for consumers.
Rep. Johnny Shaw, D-Bolivar, said he was "tired of the righteousness" taking place during the debate.
“What’s the difference between having a drink on Sunday and hating someone on Monday,” he said, apparently offering support for the legislation. "The word of God is much more powerful than any bottle of liquor you can drink.”
For the most part, McCormick did not respond to the many critics of the bill, instead focusing on outlining the components included in the measure.
"The purpose again in bringing this bill is to give consumers who are our constituents and businesses the ability to make their own decisions regarding the purchase and sale of these products instead of the current system that has the government telling them what they can do and what they can't do."
The legislation has yet to be taken up in the Senate. The upper chamber is scheduled to take up the measure later this week.