The wine-in-grocery-stores bill is set for its first committee hearing of the year Tuesday and now there is a new twist.
It now appears that a compromise has been met, and the bill no longer includes just grocery stores. According to State Representative, Jon Lundberg, both big box retailers like Wal-mart and Target along with convenience stores will be included.
The bill, House Bill 610, is scheduled for review at noon Tuesday in the House Local Government Committee, where it stalled last year one vote short of the committee majority needed to advance to a House floor vote. The Senate version, SB 837, won committee approval last year and a vote will be scheduled for the Senate floor if it wins House committee approval.
The measure would allow referendums to be held in towns and cities that have retail liquor stores or liquor by the drink in restaurants. Voters in the referendums would decide whether local grocery stores would be permitted to sell wine. Liquor stores would be allowed to open on holidays and Sundays, and to sell beer, accessories, food items and other products hey are now prohibited from selling in Tennessee.
Legislative leaders have said they believe some form of wine in grocery stores bill will win approval in the General Assembly this year, after seven consecutive years of failure.