Wine in supermarkets bill advancing in Tennessee House

Wine in supermarkets bill advancing in Tennessee House

Posted: Updated:

6 News Reporter

NASHVILLE (WATE) - A bill allowing a referendum to decide whether Tennessee grocery stores can sell wine passed in the same committee that it stalled in last year. This time around lawmakers were just voting on the referendum component.

"I think this is a jobs killer for the eight states that border Tennessee," said bill sponsor Rep. Jon Lundberg.

Lundberg stood before the House local government committee to ask for support for a second time, while getting push back from some lawmakers opposing the bill.

"If we believe in referendums, then let's let the referendum stand. And the stand was last year. Your bill was beaten in this committee," he said.

Ultimately the bill passed in a vote of 13 to 3.

"The majority of Tennesseans have said this is what they want, so we're just pleased that this is moving forward," said Kroger spokesperson Melissa Eads.

One Knoxville lawmaker who opposed the bill last year now voted in favor of it. It was because of a last minute amendment prohibiting Sunday wine sales and high gravity beer in retail stores, which is part of a bill going before a separate committee.

"I think it is a good start to being more fair with the liquor industry. It may give some relief to the liquor store owners," said Rep Steve Hall.

"It's hard to find a compromise because we are dealing with one of our three products that constitutes the majority of our sales," said Farragut Wine and Spirits owner David Purvis.

He says the new bill leaves too many unanswered questions.

"This referendum allowing the vote doesn't clarify who is a grocery store who has the right to sell it. It doesn't clarify any of the rules," he said.

The referendum bill now moves on to the finance committee. The other wine in grocery stores bill, which includes those compromises on wine sales, is now being considered by the state government committee.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.