Lawmakers to consider bill allowing wine in grocery stores

Lawmakers to consider bill allowing wine in grocery stores


6 News Reporter

NASHVILLE (WATE) - The top two Republicans, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell, have continued to support wine in grocery stores. It is with their blessing many think it will finally pass this year.

Under a bill taking shape in the House, local referendums would determine if wine could be sold alongside beer in grocery and convenience stores.

"I've always been one that's for the wine and grocery store issues, but it's tough. It really is to get the members to go with that. So, I don't know if we'll have the votes or not," said Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey. 

Some lawmakers seem to want wine in grocery stores. Others are undecided. But most want to make sure the small business, the liquor store owners, aren't hurt by the impact it could have.

"It would be advantageous to sell wine in grocery stores, but at the same time, I think there is some things we can do by changing the law to protect, particularly some of the smaller owners," said Sen. Randy McNally.

Before any wine and grocery store bill is voted on, it must first go through a series of procedural steps. First, it would have to be approved by committees and subcommittees, hand-picked by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell.

"Until you see who's on them, it's hard to venture a guess," said Rep. Bill Dunn.

Ramsey said those committees are expected to be formed by the end of the week.

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