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?
Do you believe that government should decide this issue?