Ga. se­nate votes to loosen laws on some al­co­hol sales

Larger sta­di­ums, limo driv­ers would be af­fected

The Covington News - - Local News - By Shan­non McCaf­frey

AT­LANTA — The Ge­or­gia Se­nate on Tues­day voted to let larger sta­di­ums sell beer on Sun­days and let limou­sine driv­ers of­fer their pas­sen­gers cock­tails.

Law­mak­ers didn’t take up a hotly de­bated mea­sure that would pave the way for gro­cery and con­ve­nience stores to sell six- packs on the Sab­bath. That mea­sure was bot­tled up in a Se­nate com­mit­tee last ses­sion. But a key sup­porter of the Sun­day sales bill said that strong Se­nate sup­port for the two booze bills on Tues­day gives the ef­fort fresh mo­men­tum.

Sen. Seth Harp voted for the pair of al­co­hol mea­sures on Tues­day as a proxy for the larger is­sue of Sun­day sales.

“ Make no dis­tinc­tion, this is a vote for the ex­pan­sion of Sun­day al­co­hol sales in Ge­or­gia,” Harp, a Repub­li­can from Mid­land, said.

Harp tried to push a Sun­day sales bill through the Se­nate last year but fell vic­tim to a vig­or­ous lob­by­ing cam­paign by Ge­or­gia’s Chris­tian con­ser­va­tives. His bill would al­low lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to vote on whether to give stores the op­tion sell al­co­hol on Sun­day.

It has strong sup­port from the busi­ness com­mu­nity. Ex­ec­u­tives with the state’s largest gro­cery store chains say their cus­tomers have been clam­or­ing for the change. Sun­day is the sec­ond busiest shop­ping day of the week, es­pe­cially for har­ried fam­i­lies with both par­ents work­ing.

Ge­or­gia is one of only three states that don’t al­low the sale of any al­co­hol at stores on Sun­day. The other two are Con­necti­cut and In­di­ana.

Bars and restau­rants in some Ge­or­gia coun­ties are al­lowed to sell drinks on Sun­day if vot­ers there ap­prove.

The sta­dium bill that passed on Tues­day was aimed at a new fa­cil­ity be­ing built in Gwin­nett County to host an At­lanta Braves farm team. But it would ap­ply in sta­di­ums and au­di­to­ri­ums which seat more than 2,500 peo­ple and where the Sun­day sale of al­co­hol in bars or restau­rants has been au­tho­rized. The mea­sure passed 30- 20.

“ Base­ball, beer and peanuts, they are as Amer­i­can as ap­ple pie,” the bill’s spon­sor, state Sen. Re­nee Un­ter­man, R- Bu­ford, said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.