The squabbling over blue laws seems to be heating up faster than Uncle Teddy at an open bar in Chappaquiddick. Most notably, newly-converted Libertarian Bob Barr began a fight to repeal Sunday prohibitions on alcohol.
But proponents – largely comprised of theocratic conservatives – have countered with a mini-crusade (pardon the pun) to save the laws.
The dispute inevitably caught the attention of Georgia legislators who have, until recently, largely ignored the issue.
“Most notably, newly-converted Libertarian Bob Barr began a fight to repeal Sunday prohibitions on alcohol.
But proponents – largely comprised of theocratic conservatives – have countered with a mini-crusade (pardon the pun) to save the laws.”
While none of the pre-filed legislation in the House or the Senate mentions the subject, rumor in-and-around the Gold Dome is that blue laws may become a controversial topic in both chambers.
With the 149th Georgia General Assembly set to convene Monday morning, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s forecast for the 2007 legislature stated that, “One of the most contentious issues of the session may be Sunday beer and wine sales.”
Another AJC article goes one step further with the headline, “Georgians back changes in Blue Laws.”
Georgians overwhelmingly want the power to let their local stores sell beer and wine on Sunday, according to a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll.
The poll of 625 Georgians found 68 percent supported legislation this session giving voters the chance to consider Sunday beer and wine sales at their local grocery and convenience stores.
Support for Sunday beer and wine sales was particularly strong in metro Atlanta. About 80 percent of metro Atlanta respondents liked the idea, according to the poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. More than half of those polled in South Georgia and North Georgia also backed the proposal. But only 45 percent supported it in central Georgia, home of Gov. Sonny Perdue.
The Macon Telegraph’s legislative preview also took note of “Sunday Sales.”
Will this be the year a push to allow Sunday alcohol sales reaches the tipping point with lawmakers?
Maybe. But, as in past years, a conservative tone may keep the legislation from going very far.
Even CNN chimed in – humorously noting that, all too ironically, “the religious can get rowdy” (video below).
So where is all of this going?
It is no secret that I join most Peach Pundit readers in finding blue laws to be rather antiquated and inappropriate, but is Georgia ready for them to be repealed? And moreover, is this session of the General Assembly ready to bring back Sunday alcohol sales?
Only the next 40 legislative days will tell.
And with that, here’s to the 149th and the hope that they pour one out for Georgians in the form of blue law abolition.