Supermarket wine bill fails by 1 vote in House - WSMV Channel 4

Supermarket wine bill fails by 1 vote in House

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A proposal to loosen wine sale laws in Tennessee has failed by a single vote in a House committee after members of the panel refused to grant the sponsor a week's delay to negotiate a final version.

The House Local Government Committee voted 8-7 Tuesday to reject advancing the measure, which would allow local referendums on whether grocery stores should be able to sell wine.

According to the capitol website, state representatives voting in favor of the bill were:

  1. Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas
  2. Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge
  3. Rep. Jeremy Durham, R-Franklin
  4. Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby
  5. Rep. Bo Mitchell, D-Nashville
  6. Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis
  7. Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville

Those voting against the bill were:

  1. Rep. Dale Carr, R-Sevierville
  2. Rep. Jimmy Eldridge, R-Jackson
  3. Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga
  4. Rep. Steve Hall, R-Knoxville
  5. Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough
  6. Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden
  7. Rep. Larry Miller, D-Memphis
  8. Rep. Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna

Republican Rep. Jon Lundberg of Bristol, the bill's sponsor, had asked for a week to discuss changes to the bill a day after the beer wholesalers association, a traditional opponent of the proposal, swung its support behind the bill as long as it included strong beer.

The bill has been opposed by the state's package store owners and the liquor wholesalers association.

A special subcommittee was appointed on Tuesday to work out a final version of the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro.

The Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association is in favor of changing store hours to match those for beer sales.

The association would also allow liquor stores to start selling non-alcoholic items. These possible changes come as the bill is scheduled to be discussed again Tuesday.

"Maybe they should be allowed to sell other items," said House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville.

"That's something that should come up for discussion, if they want to sell beer and whatever else. It would be on the table, but that table is pretty lonely at this point," said state Rep. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol.

Liquor store owners have already said in the past they want the law to stay the same.

"I would tell you as a retailer I don't want anymore hours. I mean, from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. at night is plenty for me, and our association has taken that position that we don't think Sunday sales are a good thing for Tennessee," said Chip Christianson of the Wine and Spirits Retail Association.

The Senate and House committees already approved the bill last week.

The bill would have allowed cities and counties to hold referendums on allowing wine in grocery stores, giving the power back to voters to decide during the next general election.

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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