published Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Opponents kill wine-in-groceries bill

  • photo
    Maureen Rogers looks at wine Wednesday at Costco.
    Staff Photo by Angela Lewis

NASHVILLE — A bill aimed at letting grocery stores sell wine was put off today by a House panel until July 4, 2012, as powerful liquor store owners mounted a full-court press against the bill.

The House State and Local Government Subcommittee’s decision to put off the bill effectively kills it.

The move came after legislative opponents voted down an amendment that would have let voters decide in local referendums whether grocery stores should sell wine.

During his argument in favor of the measure, Rep. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, the bill’s sponsor, noted that a Costco store decided to locate in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., instead of Chattanooga because of current restrictions.

“If you defeat this amendment, what you are saying is, ‘No, I do not want the people in my district to vote,’” Lundberg said. “You are basically saying you don’t trust the people in your district to make the right decision.”

Earlier, State and Local Government Committee Chairman Curry Todd, R-Collierville, sharply criticized studies and a legislative analysis that said the bill would generate new revenue and jobs.

“Don’t give me that,” Todd snapped at Lundberg. “I don’t think it’s going to bring jobs and money. I disagree with you. Folks in the grocery business are not going to hire new people.”

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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Oz said...

I'll keep driving to Trader Joe's in Buckhead and buying Two Buck Chuck. Georgia likes my tax dollars.

April 13, 2011 at 6:55 p.m.
Beamis said...

Costco in Georgia is my friend. No wine from Tennessee merchants for me.

April 13, 2011 at 7:38 p.m.
MasterChefLen said...

Same here, I buy all my wine and liquor in Georgia. You would think a state like Tennessee would get with the program. The independent liquor stores have far too much power not allowing free enterprise dictate. The TV networks and newspapers in the state of Tennessee should publish a list of all state politicians that receive money from the wine and liquor store lobby. This way the public knows which politicians votes are bought and paid for.

April 13, 2011 at 8:16 p.m.
Echo said...

Costco is one of the nations largest wine merchants. You can buy a $100 bottle of Far Niente Cabernet or a $20 Kirkland (store brand) California sparkling wine, both are excellent and domestic. There's a bottle for every budget. I'm so glad our founding fathers understood the concept of federalism every time I drive to GA to shop at the Costco that could have been in Hixson if not for the regressive legislation here. Last visit I bought a TV set. As for the anti-alcohol ayatollahs still operating on the notion that it's a sin to have a Mimosa for brunch, you are the Tennessee Taliban. Maybe your mega-church with the credit card equipped collection plates should get back to basics and celebrate the Eucharist like your good book says Christ did it, and not like some moldy temperance movement hags from the last century. You might realize that not every person that puts a drop of wine on their lips on a Sunday turns into your drunk, child molesting, uncle.

April 14, 2011 at 1:25 a.m.
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