Sunday sales in Georgia may be back on the table

Crossover Day at the Legislature (the day by which a bill must pass one chamber if it’s to become law as standalone legislation this year) is Wednesday, and it’s shaping up to be an interesting half-week. From Peach Pundit:

Sunday Sales advocates rejoice. The Senate Republican caucus has just voted and SB 10 will be allowed out of Rules and will be voted on as a stand alone bill, not as an amendment to SB 150, on Wednesday.

There are some technical corrections that need to be made to SB 10, so expect amendments. I would envision the amendment process to get quite lively. If you enjoy good political theater, get down to the Capitol early Wednesday, and bring a Costco sized tub of popcorn.

The AJC’s Aaron Gould Sheinin says movement on the bill is somewhat more limited:

Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour, R-Snellville, said that SB 10 will come up for a vote in his committee on Tuesday, the final step before reaching the Senate floor on Wednesday.

Lobbyists on both sides of the issue were working feverishly when the Senate began its day. While the original Sunday sales bill, SB 10, remains on hold for at least one more day, another alcohol bill is expected to get a vote by the full Senate today. That bill, SB 150, would allow sales of alcohol in public golf courses on Sunday.

Lawmakers who support the original SB 10, which would allow local communities to vote whether to allow the sale of alcohol in stores on Sunday, have discussed trying to amend SB 150 to include the Sunday sales vote. Whether that will happen now is unclear since Senate Republicans have agreed to give SB 10 a vote in the Rules Committee. That committee is responsible for deciding which bills are debated by the full Senate.

The fight earlier this morning was over whether the Senate would use a parliamentary maneuver called engrossing to block amendments to SB 150. If a bill is engrossed, it has to be voted on as-is. If the engrossment effort fails, supporters of the Sunday sales vote could offer an amendment.

Is the Rules Committee vote intended to head off an attempt at attaching Sunday sales to SB 150? Is it an acknowledgment that Sunday sales would prevail as an amendment to SB 150? Does it give Sunday sales opponents (or proponents, for that matter) two targets rather than one — making it harder for them to quash it? I’m heading down to the Legislature shortly and will be looking for answers to these questions.

As for what should happen: It still seems to me that the party that claims to favor limited government and local control ought to allow voters to settle this issue for their own communities, once and for all. If Sunday sales are as unpopular and objectionable as opponents claim, there should be no danger in letting the issue move from a group of three dozen Republican senators to the broader public. If not, there’s no good reason to let those three dozen senators stand in the way on this issue.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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128 comments Add your comment

retiredds

March 14th, 2011
12:01 pm

Kyle, you have hit the nail on the head with “limited government and local control”. The proof of the Republican mantra will be demonstrated on this one.

Not So Casual Observer

March 14th, 2011
12:13 pm

One legislator reaised the question of the Constitutionality of allowing a referendum on Sunday sales and at the same time made the point that those elected should vote on Sunday sales and if the electorate disagrees then vote them out of office.

Why should the people of Georgia carry the burden of adding the Sunday sales issue to the ballot when we have already paid those in the State Legislature to make the decision?

Freedom Lover

March 14th, 2011
12:28 pm

FREEDOM, LIBERTY, FREEDOM, LIBERTY, FREEDOM, LIBERTY.

Yes, I know, outdated concepts in today’s america. But what say we give them a chance again, just for old times’ sake???

HDB

March 14th, 2011
12:29 pm

If the Legislature would vote on a simple REPEAL of ALL of Georgia’s “blue laws”….maybe this state would be launched into the 21st Century!!! IMHO……

DW

March 14th, 2011
12:30 pm

PLEASE PASS THE FREAKING BILL ALREADY IDIOTS!

JoeV

March 14th, 2011
12:31 pm

Where are you td? I know you are licking your chops…

Chris

March 14th, 2011
12:31 pm

If I actually passes I will take up going to church because then I will believe there’s a God. One soul saved is worth passing it right?

Keith Thomas

March 14th, 2011
12:31 pm

You can Gamble on Sunday; excuse me play the lotto. Why not be able to go to the store and buy an nice brew. Chick-Fila will be next.

Demonman

March 14th, 2011
12:42 pm

Let’s see, after church on Sunday, I can take the family to Hooters where I can oogle scantily clad teenager girls and drink whiskey and beer for lunch, but I cannot buy a $20 bottle of wine to go with dinner. End Cultural Socialsim!!

Elaine Stritch

March 14th, 2011
12:45 pm

Allowing local control of an otherwise legal product. I’ll drink to that!

Lauri

March 14th, 2011
12:47 pm

Allow me to point out the error in logic to all the opponents of this bill. You are currently allowed to go on Sunday to a restaurant and order alcoholic beverages. So let me get this straight: you’re ok with tax revenue from restaurants with bars – and you’re encouraging people to drink and drive home on a Sunday. But letting people be responsible and purchase alcohol to take home and drink is unacceptable?! Excuse me?! As a center leaning republican (and a non bible thumping Christian) I’m inclined to say let responsible capitalism thrive if it is the will of the people. Allow liquor stores to be open 7 days a week – help generate tax revenue from sales and help create jobs, because the stores will have new shifts open for work !!!! It’s not the responsibility of politicians to force us to behave based on their religious beliefs.

Arrogant B@st@rd

March 14th, 2011
12:48 pm

Quit screwing around, you Georgia Talibaptists; and bring back full blown prohibition! It’s the godly thing to do…

DJ Sniper

March 14th, 2011
12:50 pm

Good Lord, will they hurry up and get this thing done already? For all the people who are opposed to this, may I please ask this question: What is the difference between buying alcohol from a bar or restaurant on Sunday and buying it from a package or grocery store? The whole argument about “infringing on the Lord’s day” is null and void, because there IS alcohol being sold on that day.

DW

March 14th, 2011
12:52 pm

Im just glad SB10 only allows alcohol sales AFTER 12:30pm. GOD FORBID if people were out buying a beer during church hours! gasp

Mickdu

March 14th, 2011
12:58 pm

Yesterday is a prime example of why this should be allowed. I decided early in the morning to stop after mass and grab a nice roast to cook for my son who is moving out of the area. Having not thought of this prior to Sunday morning, we enjoyed a great meal that only would have been enhanced with a glass or two of a deep red wine. why does government cost so much? Because they have too many noses in too many places!!

Lady S

March 14th, 2011
12:59 pm

I say pass the bill or allow us to vote on it. I don’t really see the big deal since you can buy alcoholic drinks in restaurants on Sunday. Just get over it, let there be alcohol sales on Sunday and work on something that really needs working on, like poverty, unemployment, illegal immigrants, etc.

Dave

March 14th, 2011
12:59 pm

I thought the lawmakers were already paid for on this one. Won’t the liquor stores and fundies who wanted to kill this bill want their cash back if this goes for a vote?

ATLien

March 14th, 2011
1:00 pm

Anyone that believes that alcohol sales should be banned needs to rethink their personal agendas. I’m sure many that believe that a ban on alcohol sales on Sunday are also against Government Health-Care. It’s time to think for yourselves Georgia, selling alcohol only hurts those that are buying it, if you don’t want to buy or consume it on Sunday that’s your right, if you don’t want to do it 7 days a week, 365 like myself, I also have that right… but why take away the choice from others? It’s a slippery slope between alcohol sales being banned and other choices being taken away by the government.. are you willing to give up more? Even in the name of religion? There’s a ton of things we could ban if we’re digging around the Bible.

DJ Sniper

March 14th, 2011
1:00 pm

DW, I’m tripping about that part as well. Why do we have to wait until 12:30? This part of the bill definitely has the influence of the Christian conservatives all over it. Somebody tell these people to stop living in the past.

ATLien

March 14th, 2011
1:02 pm

DJ, you have to wait until 12:30 because it forces you to sober up enough from Saturday night to drive to the bar again. DUH!

Dave

March 14th, 2011
1:03 pm

12:30 is a request from the liquor store owners. They don’t want to open before then to saveloabor costs. Its not a religious issue.

JSR

March 14th, 2011
1:03 pm

It is about time that this state move into the 20th century and I not even drink.

Mike

March 14th, 2011
1:03 pm

HDB: THANK YOU!!!

Michael

March 14th, 2011
1:04 pm

This is largely a non-issue meant to provide cover for whatever real, sinister legislation or giveaways they are really voting on.

Bryan G.

March 14th, 2011
1:04 pm

Isn’t it funny that the people who want to ban Sharia law don’t want to let me – for religious reasons – buy booze on Sunday?

ATLNative

March 14th, 2011
1:07 pm

I heard an interesting opinion from a friend of mine who is a wine rep: some of the liquor stores don’t want this thing to pass because they like being forced to take a day off. I found the lack of ambition to make more profit a little hard to believe, but I guess it’s possible. Some people might just want the guarateed day off.

DW

March 14th, 2011
1:10 pm

@DAVE
So its just a coincidence that they dont want to open during CHURCH HOURS? They couldnt open early and give people the afternoon off??

Reds

March 14th, 2011
1:14 pm

Miracle # 1 – Jesus turned water into wine (John 2.1).

Latest potential miracle – Allowing Georgians to vote on Sunday Sales.

Eddie

March 14th, 2011
1:16 pm

Let us decide!

willydoit?

March 14th, 2011
1:22 pm

All of you Sunday beer buying drinkers should be ashamed!!
You are all going to Hell!!
Oh, and your way…could you pick up some Coors???
Lucifer likes to make believe he’s the Bandit! East Bound and Down!!

Noneya

March 14th, 2011
1:23 pm

Jesus turned water into WINE….don’t give me that grape juice lame excuse. Even if He didn’t drink it providing it (if sinful) to guests would have been a sin if drinking wine was sinful. So Baptists, either Jesus sinned or wine is OK. If it’s good enough for Jesus it’s good enough for me.

no more drinking!

March 14th, 2011
1:25 pm

The legislature needs to vote this drinking bill down! There is enough drinking already during the rest of the week—no more drinking is needed on the Sabbath—this would be against the Bible. The legislature will have to answer to the Coalition if they pass this bill!

Freedom Lover

March 14th, 2011
1:31 pm

We have to wait until after 12:30 because Jesus said so. He says varying things in varying counties regarding restaurant sales on Sunday, but nonetheless, it is not your place to question his word.

If he couldn’t turn water into wine on his own, I am sure that Jesus would have gone out and bought alcohol on Sunday in Jerusalem.

Michael

March 14th, 2011
1:31 pm

Sabbath. . . that’s funny word. Wonder what it means?

SbinF

March 14th, 2011
1:42 pm

We allow legislation to cut down trees on public land because it, “creates jobs.” Yet, opening an entire industry 1 additional day a week doesn’t provide enough jobs to merit consideration?

I think we call this playing politics.

craig

March 14th, 2011
1:43 pm

Separation between church and state…. Governing by Religious Minority…

Honestly, if liquor stores are worried about operational costs then simply choose not to be open, the law isn’t requiring you to be open on Sundays just allow people who choose to do so.

How about beer and wine in grocery stores, they are already open on Sundays.

Allow people to drink in the safety of their own home versus forcing people to drink and drive.

Finally you are able to buy a gun on Sunday but not a six pack.

Random thoughts from a pro-sunday sales person.

Moe Ron

March 14th, 2011
1:45 pm

Alcohol sales should be abolished.

Another view

March 14th, 2011
1:48 pm

I like the suggestion to open the stores EARLY then shut down at 11, enabling folks to stop for a vessel of something to brace themselves against the upcoming sermon – - – -
@Michael, the term sabbath comes from the Hebrew root abat, which means “to cease, rest.” Kick back, have a cold one, and enjoy the day. (I tried that on my wife, but I ended up having to work all day in the yard anyway.)
Hear ye, Kyle. LIMITED GOV’T, LOCAL CONTROL. NOT CHURCH CONTROL.

scrappy

March 14th, 2011
1:51 pm

Can you buy a gun before 12:30 on Sunday?

craig

March 14th, 2011
1:57 pm

Yep, as soon as Bass Pro Opens….

Michael

March 14th, 2011
1:59 pm

Wow, Georgians speaking Hebrew (re: Sabbath). How multicultural, diverse and progressive!

Sharica

March 14th, 2011
2:00 pm

Let me vote yes so we can move on! I do not understand what is the big issue here. I can get drunk in a resturant on Sunday instead of doing it at home. Me personally, I rather have a cook out on Sunday with a nice brew. Just saying!!

Interesting Observation

March 14th, 2011
2:05 pm

Craig, the liquor stores that do not want to open on Sunday do not want the ones that do decide to open on Sunday because they know they will not share the profits from Sunday sales. Ever wonder why Chick-Fila’s prices are higher than other fast-food joints? Does it have something to do with missing profits from closing on Sundays? A double cheese burger value meal which includes a soft drink, fries and a double cheese burger costs only twenty cents more than one dry Chick Fila chicken sandwich.

Interesting Observation

March 14th, 2011
2:07 pm

McDonald’s value meal.

Arrogant B@st@rd

March 14th, 2011
2:07 pm

Ban going to church on Sundays. (You should have had the foresight to go on Saturday.)

vcatron

March 14th, 2011
2:07 pm

GA needs to repeal ALL BLUE LAWS.

Deez

March 14th, 2011
2:11 pm

Buying and consuming alcohol!!!! Alcohol will still be present at bbq’s, parties, sporting events at buyers and consumers homes. So why not just make it available for purchase on Sunday’s. By preventing Sunday sales it seems as if you’re leaning towards making something legal illegal. I see it as a win win situation. Jobs and taxes…….people need jobs and the State needs money. I would even agree with not selling hard liquor on Sunday but beer and wine is acceptable as some nothern States do. But irregardless, alcohol will be consumed on Sundays whether they sell it in the stores or now. It just makes it easier and makes more sense.

Grey Goose

March 14th, 2011
2:12 pm

Friday is the holy day for islam Saturday for hebrews Sunday for christians. How about no drinking on weekends.

Edward

March 14th, 2011
2:14 pm

PASS IT, AND STOP GRIPING ABOUT IT

curt

March 14th, 2011
2:22 pm

Let me join the chorus of people who just don’t understand how they can deny us the right to vote on this issue out of one side of their mouth and talk about keeping government out of our business out of the other. The constitution we hear so much about these days says that congress ( and I assume the Georgia legislature) shall not establish a religion yet we’re letting the views of what is a minority according to polls do just that. This has nothing to do with morals, it’s about the nanny state run amuk.
If democracy is so sacred let us vote.