Senate adds Sunday sales to supermarket wine bill - WSMV News 4

Senate adds Sunday sales to supermarket wine bill

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Tennessee liquor stores would be allowed to be open for business on Sundays under changes to a supermarket wine bill adopted by the Senate Finance Committee.

The panel voted Tuesday to make several changes to the measure seeking to allow cities and governments to hold referendums on whether to permit supermarkets and convenience stores to sell wine. The liquor store amendment was approved on a 6-5 vote.

State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, the main sponsor of the bill, also supported a change to link supermarket wine sales to the hours they are currently allowed to sell beer.

Other changes include sales of items like corkscrews and limes in liquor stores and reduced liquor licence fees for smaller stores.

"I think I'm as surprised as most people watching your broadcast that we would be voting to allow liquor stores to be open on Sundays and alcohol on Sundays, wine on Sundays, grocery stores selling wine on Sundays," said State Sen. Jim Kyle, D-Memphis. "I think that's way beyond the scope of what most Tennesseans thought we would be doing when we took up the wine and grocery stores issue."

The panel delayed a final vote on the bill for a week so members could have time to digest the changes.

"It's like the old saying: there won't be wine until it's time. So, when it's time it's time," Ketron said.

The companion bill has failed in a House committee, but both sides seem to agree that doesn't mean the issue is over.

"I can only tell you nothing is dead until the session is over, and people really need to contact their legislators and weigh in on whether or not they want this expansion of alcohol in our society," Kyle said.

Ketron said, barring any emergencies, he plans to move the bill out of committee next week and onto the senate floor.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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