Senate Rules Committee Chair Co-Sponsors Sunday Alcohol Sales Measure

January 7, 2009 8:03 am

by Andre · 23 comments

Next Monday, the 150th General Assembly of the State of Georgia will convene and one of the bills that lawmakers may consider is legislation that allows each local city or county to decide whether Sunday alcohol sales is for them.

Senate Bill 16, the Sunday alcohol sales bill, was pre-filed January 5th by Midland Republican Seth Harp. There’s no surprise in Harp introducing the legislation, but listed among the co-sponsors is Senate Rules Committee Chair Don Balfour (R – Snellville).

Maybe I’m reading too much into Balfour signing on as co-sponsor to this bill, but I think its chances of passing the state Senate have improved dramatically with the Rules Committee Chair’s backing.

However, S.B.16 still has an uphill battle.

Even if it makes it out of the Senate, it still has to pass the House. And even if the bill clears the General Assembly, our tee-totaling Governor has said that he believes it is his responsibility to reject legislation that “hurts more people than it helps.”

“Allowing the sale of alcohol in grocery stores as well as liquor stores on Sundays will do far more harm than good. In fact, other than those who profit from those sales, it will not help anyone,” Gov. Perdue wrote in a March 2008 op-ed column.

So I have a question for all these folks thinking about a run for governor next year.

Where do you stand?

You can be against Sunday alcohol sales, but be for this bill because all the legislation does is give each of this state’s 159 counties the opportunity to vote on this issue.

Hall County could reject Sunday alcohol sales. Baldwin County could approve it but regardless of the outcome, the people will have voted.

So for me, this is a simple question.

Do you believe the people should decide this issue?

-OR-

Do you believe that government should decide this issue?

Dave Bearse January 7, 2009 at 9:17 am

As I recall, Snellvile not so long ago loosened alcohol sales restrictions. Balfour clearly understands which way the winds are blowing.

The public position taken on this legislation will in some cases separate those with Congressional or statewide office aspirations from those content in their districts.

Chris January 7, 2009 at 10:25 am

Senator Balfor’s committee killed the bill in 2007 after it was passed out of Shafer’s committee.

Last year it was held up by leadership.

This is a very good sign.

Romegaguy January 7, 2009 at 10:26 am

I think Shafer signed it too

Icarus January 7, 2009 at 10:26 am

Did we add the language about being able to get a beer from a topless chick on the front lawn of a First Baptist Church south of the gnat line? If not, I’d really like to see that amendment.

Nathan January 7, 2009 at 10:35 am

Hmm….letting the people of Georgia decide on an issue of personal liberty rather than letting the General Assembly and Governor dictating their views? There’s a novel idea. ;)

JBC January 7, 2009 at 11:09 am

Balfour’s committee didn’t kill the bill in 2007.

He has always been a supporter from day one.

In the one day it was eligible for being on the floor Leadership didn’t want the bill on the floor and the clock ran out.

GOPeach January 7, 2009 at 3:53 pm

I pray to God Balfour is not thinking to slosh booze at Waffle House.

Daniel N. Adams January 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm

booze at Waffle House.

Who says perfection is impossible?

Icarus January 7, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Booze is already allowed at Waffle House, but it’s customarily brought in already in the patron’s stomach.

Daniel N. Adams January 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm

That was my point. No more need to crawl in there at 3 am. Just think of the reductions in DUI’s.

Bartender- “LAST CALL!”
patron 1- “Looks like that’s it… Let’s all go to the Waffle House.”
patron 2- “Dude, we’re here.”
patron 1- “Cool!”

Icarus January 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm

You know, that is a damn near perfect business model.

At least for me and Goldwater Conservative…

Harry January 8, 2009 at 12:46 am

The liquor lobby has been active.

I hate alcoholism for personal reasons, and will do everything to discourage it – including restricting your right to buy it wherever and whenever possible.

Bill Simon January 8, 2009 at 12:56 am

I hate alcoholism for personal reasons

There is a VAST difference between “alcoholism” and the non-addicited consumption of it, Harry.

You and your fellow religious wingnuts are just about done with your stranglehold on this state, and the “do as I say, not as I do” theme.

Hey, did you know that when Ralph Reed used to throw parties during his state GOP chairmanship days, he provided alcohol at HIS house for those parties? He didn’t consume it himself, but he made sure there was plenty for his guests. Party animal, that Ralph.

Harry January 8, 2009 at 12:58 am

With me it has nothing to do with religion.

Harry January 8, 2009 at 1:00 am

The government restricts freedom in many ways, in some cases for good reason.

Harry January 8, 2009 at 1:01 am

Any you, of all people, referring to me as a “wingnut” is a hoot.

Daniel N. Adams January 8, 2009 at 9:30 am

The government restricts freedom in many ways, in some cases for good reason.

I’m racking my brain and can’t think of anygood reasons to restrict anyone’s freedoms, unless you’re talking about those restrictions that protect someone else’s freedoms. Banning alcohol for law abiding citizens is not one of them.

Examples, please.

Harry January 8, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Yeah, somebody drives drunk and kills your child.

Bill Simon January 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Harry, let’s ban cars. They kill a lot of people.

Harry January 8, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Let’s ban everything.

Alcohol impairs judgement, leading to murder, suicide, crime, accidents, unwanted pregnancy, divorce, STDs, and long-term organic damage resulting in various pathologies including brain damage.

Bill Simon January 8, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Harry,

At what point did you leave the Republican Party and decide that people did not have to take responsibility for their OWN actions?

All you have stated above is due to the 5-10% of the people who did use and abuse alcohol to those degrees. The rest of us TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for our consumptions and DO NOT over-indulge to those harmful degrees.

Harry January 8, 2009 at 9:18 pm

The government imposes many restrictions on personal behavior, and in many cases I have no problem with it.

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