Reaction to wine in grocery store bill's high chance of passing

Reaction mixed after Tennessee lawmakers say wine in grocery stores bill has a high chance of passing

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A big change in the State House of Representatives could mean passage for the controversial wine in grocery stores bill when the issue comes up again. A big change in the State House of Representatives could mean passage for the controversial wine in grocery stores bill when the issue comes up again.
Joshua Foshie goes to the new Food City in Powell to get his groceries, but in the future he hopes to be able to pick up wine here at well. Joshua Foshie goes to the new Food City in Powell to get his groceries, but in the future he hopes to be able to pick up wine here at well.
Food City Vice President of Operations John Jones said the new Food City was built to fit a wine selection. If the bill passes an aisle will be dedicated to wine. Food City Vice President of Operations John Jones said the new Food City was built to fit a wine selection. If the bill passes an aisle will be dedicated to wine.
Some liquor store owners don't support the bill saying it will hurt their business. Some liquor store owners don't support the bill saying it will hurt their business.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

POWELL (WATE) - A big change in the State House of Representatives could mean passage for the controversial wine in grocery stores bill when the issue comes up again. The chairman who cast the deciding vote against that bill now says he's willing to reconsider the measure next session.

Other lawmakers have already said they expect it to pass. Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey has said he expects lawmakers to approve a bill allowing wine in grocery stores. He calls the events surrounding the failure of the last bill a debacle. The issue is still sparking debate.

Joshua Foshie goes to the new Food City in Powell to get his groceries, but in the future he hopes to be able to pick up wine here at well.

"I think it should definitely be sold here because you can go a mile down the road and get it elsewhere so why not just do all your shopping at one place," said Foshie.

Food City Vice President of Operations John Jones also hopes the bill passes. He wants wine to be served alongside the already available beer.

"If you ask a majority of the customers in this store that's the item they will request. They want to be able to get their wine where they get their food," said Jones.

Jones said the new Food City was built to fit a wine selection. If the bill passes an aisle will be dedicated to wine.

Some liquor store owners don't support the bill saying it will hurt their business. The manager of Clinton Highway Wine and Spirits tells 6 News they worry they will lose sales, but says grocery stores will not have the same large selection as package stores.

State Representative Ryan Haynes says he has mixed reactions from his constituents. Some are in support, while others worry about small businesses and the possibility of wine in gas stations.

Despite some concerns from constituents, he believes a bill allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores has a high chance of passing.

"I think it's because of Lt. Gov Ramsey's and [House Speaker Beth Harwell's] strong support for it I think that has a lot to do with it. Lawmakers hearing from constituents that want it those are the two things that are riding it," said Rep. Haynes.

Haynes says if a bill passes, there will likely be some compromises made for liquor store owners. The question of wine in gas stations will also be addressed. There will not be any decisions on the measure until at least January when the Tennessee General Assembly convenes.

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