Not that we haven’t beat the dead horse of Sunday Sales enough already on Peach Pundit (A.D.D. Moment: Would SB 10 be considered a zombie bill since it came back from the dead?), but my state senator, Jeff Mullis, issued this statement about why he voted for SB 10 on crossover day (via CatWalkChatt):
“Let me first state that I am against the sale of alcohol on Sundays. I highly doubt that this referendum would ever come to a vote in our district. If it did come to a ballot, I would vote against Sunday sales, and I am certain it would fail.”
“The main issue in this particular legislation is my belief in local control of public policy. I have supported local control since my first day in office. Every single decision on the sale of alcohol in Georgia has been decided at the local level, and Sunday sales should be no different. Senate bill 10 would allow for every community to decide for themselves if they want to sell alcohol or not. My passion for local control is why I voted in favor of SB 10.”
“Another major factor for my ‘yes’ vote is my belief that giving local communities the power to hold their own referendums more than likely frees rural counties from being mandated to sell alcohol on Sundays. Currently, the Georgia General Assembly is controlled by mostly urban and suburban members. If SB 10 failed, there could be a chance that the legislature could form a coalition and mandate the state as a whole sell alcohol as many of the metro counties support Sunday sales. Instead, we now have given every community, regardless of their stance on this issue, to decide if it is in the best interests of their citizens.”
A bill that could allow the sale of alcohol in stores on Sundays will get a long-awaited vote in the Georgia Senate Wednesday, and supporters and opponents are feverishly lining up commitments from lawmakers.
The Senate Rules Committee today added the bill to the list of 50 measures that will be considered by the full Senate.
Sen. John Bulloch, R-Ochlocknee, the bill’s sponsor, said he isn’t sure of the outcome of the vote.
“There will be some red votes and some green votes,” Bulloch said. “I have no idea.”
Those that would restrict your personal choice to buy a perfectly legal product are actively working to kill this measure. I suggest you start calling Senators and politely ask them to support SB 10.
Last week, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, wrote members of the Georgia General Assembly noting that they “should be looking at every option to help balance the budget in a manner that does not raise taxes on already heavily burdened Georgia families and employers. Eliminating the prohibition on Sunday sales of alcohol would generate millions in revenue for the state without raising taxes.”
Norquist also writes, “States that passed legislation to permit Sunday sales in recent years have seen a positive impact on state coffers, increasing revenue by 5% – 7% on average, while realizing no negative social impact.” Of course, this is probably heresy for members of the Senate that have been quietly saying that they are for “liberty,” but have been doing everything they can to prevent a vote.
Otis Campbell breathlessly writes in this evening between shots of Old Crow to inform the Peach Pundit Executive Committee the day our kidneys will forever regret has arrived: the beginning of the end of the absurd ban on Sunday sales of alcohol in stores. ‘Tis true, my friends. Feast your eyes on SB 10, sponsored by six lovers of local responsibility and proofread by Ben Harbin between jello shots with Kiki and Bambilobbyists concerned citizens.
The topic of alcohol sales on Sunday tends to fire up people. Some pastors get their congregations fired up on how Jesus won’t love you for purchasing and consuming alcohol from grocery/convenience/package stores on Sunday (even though you can do it the other 6 days). Bills have come up before the General Assembly before that would remove the state-wide ban on alcohol sales and and allow for a referendum question put before the counties and municipalities on whether or not to allow alcohol sales on Sunday.
Republicans generally want to try and keep power at the closest level to the individual citizen. I believe allowing each county, rather than the state, to decide on whether or not an individual can purchase alcohol on Sunday is good. Some of my socially conservative friends here in northwest Georgia would object to this, but I don’t really care what decisions an individual makes as long as they do not harm others. Buying alcohol on Sundays at a grocery store more than likely won’t affect others and would generate some additional revenue.
Governor Deal may sign a “local control” Sunday Sales bill if it passes the General Assembly. The last Sunday Sales bill was introduced by Representative Roger Williams of Dalton, but was opposed to former Governor Perdue. A new governor mixed with the need of additional state revenue might be the perfect storm to get the legislation passed. I’m curious as to the firestorm that could erupt. Deal had a lot of support from social conservatives. I wonder if a loud outcry from them in opposition to Sunday Sales legislation would change his mind.
Our incredible shrinking Governor, Sonny Perdue, continues to maintain his staunch opposition to any Sunday Sales (from package stores) legislation. Even where such legislation would leave it up to individual counties to decide their own position, he would prefer the course against the tide of freedom and an electorate making responsible decisions for how they would want to live within their own county.
Take three towns, for example, that recognize the tax base benefit of increased sales availability for alcohol.