Tenn. lawmakers reject wine in grocery stores bill

Tenn. lawmakers reject wine in grocery stores bill (Image 1)

The legislation aimed at allowing wine sales in Tennessee grocery stores was halted in its tracks on Tuesday.

The House Local Government Committee voted 8-7 to stop the proposal, which would have allowed municipalities to take the issue to the voters.  

House Bill 610, often referred to as the “wine in grocery stores legislation,” is the latest attempt to let grocery and convenient stores sell wine.

The proposal was supported by grocery store chains, but heavily opposed by the state's package store owners and the liquor wholesalers association.

Representative Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol) sponsored the bill.

“We have a state mandated monopoly for liquor stores,” said Lundberg. “And, candidly, our liquor laws are really pretty bizarre.”  

Chip Christianson, a Nashville liquor retailer and board member of the Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association, praised the decision.

“It's a very competitive business,” Christianson said. “But it's a highly regulated business. And the reason is because we sell high proof alcohol.”

Tuesday's vote killed HB 610. Below is a list of how each lawmaker voted.

Joe Carr, R-Lascassas
Vince Dean, R-East Ridge
Jeremy Durham, R-Franklin
Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby
Bo Mitchell, D-Nashville
Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis
Mike Stewart, D-Nashville

Dale Carr, R-Sevierville
Jimmy Eldridge, R-Jackson
Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga
Steve Hall, R-Knoxville
Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough
Andy Holt, R-Dresden
Larry Miller, D-Memphis
Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna

Sherry Jones, D-Nashville

Supporters of the legislation say they will try again next year.

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