published Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Tennessee House Speaker Harwell vote rescues grocery store wine bill

  • photo
    House Speaker Beth Harwell presides over a floor session in Nashville in this file photo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — House Speaker Beth Harwell has rescued a bill to allow supermarket wine sales by casting the deciding vote in a subcommittee where the measure faced defeat.

Harwell, a Nashville Republican, is allowed to cast a vote in any committee, but rarely does so. But she sat in on the House Local Government Subcommittee today and angered liquor store owners gathered in the hallway by casting a deciding vote against an attempt to put the bill off until July 2014.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Jon Lundberg of Bristol would allow cities and counties to hold referendums on whether to allow wine to be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores.

The companion bill last week also cleared its first Senate committee last week by a single vote.

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