Senate Republicans to settle fate of Sunday sales bill in private caucus

Senate Republicans will have an hour-long, private caucus on Wednesday to determine if legislation to permit package sales of alcohol on Sunday has a future, according to a report just posted by Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM).

Listen to the audio here.

“If we don’t have a majority of our senators in favor of it, then we’re not going to bring it to the floor,” said Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, who supplied the second signature on SB 10. “If the caucus is for it, it’s going to come to the floor.”

One day earlier, Rogers had raised the possibility that the Sunday sales legislation had been stalled for the session by a last minute surge of opposition from conservative Christian groups.

Today, via O’Hayer, Rogers rated the future of his bill as “a coin toss. It has not hit a wall.”

Personally, Rogers said, “95 percent” of the communications he’s received on the bill have been in favor.

“The polling that’s been done in my district shows overwhelming support – in fact,more than just about any district in the state. But this is a broad, diverse state. So I suspect that in other districts, the e-mails and phone calls may be of a different nature,” Rogers said.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Flowery Branch, whose committee gave wings to the legislation with quick passage earlier this month, has decided the fight is now well above his paygrade as a freshman.

“It’s a long way from being a law. It’s a long way,” Miller told O’Hayer. “It’s someone else’s responsibility to push the bill. I will not push it.”

The senator didn’t take issue with the decision by religious conservatives not to speak against the bill at his hearing.

“They need to be heard, and it’s sad to me that they weren’t heard earlier. It’s sad to me that they didn’t come to the hearing,” he said.

Business lobbyists have not backed down.

On Monday, we told you that the Georgia Chamber of Commerce had declined a request from a select group of Senate Republicans – including many members of the leadership – to back down its declaration that it would make Sunday sales a “scorecard” issue.

What we failed to tell you was that the Georgia chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses – in some ways a more politically connected group than the Chamber – on Monday sent its own letter to all state senators.

With the same message. See it here. From the letter:

The NFIB will make the vote on Senate Bill 10 a Key Vote issue for possible use on our State Voting Record. NFIB respectfully requests your YES Vote on Senate Bill 10 and a NO vote on any weakening amendments.

So the Georgia Chamber is no longer out there by itself.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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199 comments Add your comment

Michael

February 15th, 2011
3:31 pm

Since we can already buy alcohol on Sundays, the ONLY issue is whether these beer stores can provide employment, commerce, and sales taxes for an additional 52 days per year. The whole WWJD thing is a non-sequitur.

Dan

February 15th, 2011
3:42 pm

Good to see some push back on this from some other lobbying groups in opposition to the intolerance of the Puritans

Brian

February 15th, 2011
3:45 pm

Someone needs to remind the Senators, they took an oath up uphold the constitution with their hand on a bible, not the other way around.

David A. Staples

February 15th, 2011
3:46 pm

Call GA Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers at 404-463-1378 to demand SB-10 (Sunday alcohol sales) come up for a vote.

Call David Shafer at 404-656-0048 and ask him to back off Sunday alcohol sales. Let us vote!

DW

February 15th, 2011
3:53 pm

Thank god SOMEBODY is willing to stand up to these backwoods, redneck morons that insist on imposing their moral beliefs on EVERYONE.

jd

February 15th, 2011
4:04 pm

DW – if the elected officials are morons, what do you call the voters who elected THEM?

DW

February 15th, 2011
4:06 pm

Isnt it funny how all of these “anti big govt, dont tread on me” republicans sh!t themselves whenever the Christian Coalition comes calling?

JoeV

February 15th, 2011
4:06 pm

@jd

Republicans!

bocephus

February 15th, 2011
4:11 pm

Let me remind everyone. You can buy lottery tickets, porno and cigarettes on Sunday now. Where is the outrage on those?

david

February 15th, 2011
4:13 pm

I am tired of the religious fascists running the GOP! These folks are anti-liberty! I’m voting Libertarian forever. The GOP is just as nanny statist as the Dems just depends on the issue.

DW

February 15th, 2011
4:17 pm

damn david… you sound like a GOP’er that started to grow a brain. Didnt think that was possible

D.M.

February 15th, 2011
4:18 pm

I don’t mean to be too blunt, but if you don’t want or partake in the use of alcohol, then don’t buy it. How hard is this to understand?

Thomas

February 15th, 2011
4:22 pm

Senator Rogers,
Senate Bill Ten’s time has come. This year a vote should be taken on the issue, if the issue fails or passes will show the citizens of Georgia that our Legislature is not afraid to vote on this bill. Could it be the political life implications is the reasoning that the bill is not being brought forward for an up or down vote? I am not a proponent for alcohol, but I am for the right of the local electorate to decide. Politics in certain cases stifle the free will of the people to decide issues of this nature. I ask you Sir, let the vote happen.

Sincerely,

Georgia Dawg

February 15th, 2011
4:24 pm

We want the government out of your life! Except on Sundays.

Douglas

February 15th, 2011
4:48 pm

What Obama needs to do is turn his budget into a moral issue — God has ordained it, so you MUST pass it, GOP House of Reps. We are commanded by God to help those less fortunate than ourselves, and this budget does exactly that! In fact, you need to fund WIC and heating subsidies at 200% of last year! It would be fun to see them chew on that. Good theatre at least!

Douglas

February 15th, 2011
4:50 pm

If the GOP can’t move this forward, then they loose the arguement that they are the party of reason and clear thinking. Of course, we know that they are not that; in fact none of the parties are particularly good at reason or clear thinking. If they were, we wouldn’t be the mess we’re in! Depending on how Jepardy works out, I may start stumping for Watson in 2012.

south ga. possum

February 15th, 2011
4:58 pm

bocephus..you made a really good point and are exactly right. I don’t drink so i don’t worry about buying beer or whiskey on sunday or anyother day of the week. If folks in a certain community don’t won’t it..vote it down. But, put it in the hands of the people and not in the hands of the government. Isn’t that what the new governor said he would do…work to have less government and get some of this government regulation out of our lives. I applaud him for this approach.

td

February 15th, 2011
4:58 pm

I see all of you progressives have come on this blog now and started being anti-religious. Since all of you want to come and bash religion so much, I have decided that it is time for me to take action. I will be writing all of the state reps I have meet during the last year to vote against this measure so that it teaches you religion bashes a good lesson.

Ronin

February 15th, 2011
5:12 pm

td, you’ve migrated blogs.

Ro

February 15th, 2011
5:15 pm

As long as this is a legal substance, it’s pretty patronizing to say it’s ok to limit people’s choice based on the values of any one religion. Keep church out of the state, please. To protect the special claim to a certain day by a certain religion is what a Sunday alcohol band is about, here. But the Christian Coalition and their backers cloak it in the guise of worrying about overseeing our health and welfare. Make that patronizing plus hypocritical. Not to mention provincial.

DW

February 15th, 2011
5:17 pm

@TD how does it feel being the worlds biggest d0uchbag?

td

February 15th, 2011
5:20 pm

DW

February 15th, 2011
5:17 pm
@TD how does it feel being the worlds biggest d0uchbag?

There you go with the name calling again. Does it make you feel better to be so intellectually challenged that you have to resort to name calling?

JoeV

February 15th, 2011
5:21 pm

I think “td” stands for “total d0uche”

DW

February 15th, 2011
5:26 pm

Just preparing future bloggers so that they know what they’re up against. (TD rode the short bus to school for all of you just joining in)

td

February 15th, 2011
5:27 pm

JoeV

February 15th, 2011
5:21 pm
I think “td” stands for “total d0uche”

I thought you were a little more intelligent but I guess people get fooled everyday.

Douglas

February 15th, 2011
5:41 pm

TD, it is possible for a person to be very religious but to also realize that this government of, by and for the people should not be an arm of any church. How is what you want different from the kind of rule – Sharia Law – that radical muslims want to impose on the world?

Just Nasty & Mean

February 15th, 2011
5:50 pm

I am sick to death of these self-appointed purists and bible thumpers jamming their religious doctrine down our throats.

If you don;t want to buy a beer on Sunday—Then DON’T!

In the meantime, leave me the hell alone!

SallyForth

February 15th, 2011
5:54 pm

Another big money group/industry that pours money into Republican pockets steps forward. A lot of Georgia voters are going to see that industries and companies are more important to them than the Christian community and beliefs the Republicans pretend to support. The so-called “less government” guys love to pass laws to infringe on a woman’s right to privacy inside her own body, but don’t mind putting government in a woman’s uterus. They think it should be there instead of in a liquor store.

Ro

February 15th, 2011
6:02 pm

@Douglas–yes. Separation of church and state recognized long ago that Religions don’t function like that. They are the very definition of ‘getting up in people’s business.’ When Christians wave the flag and yell how America is Christian and about Freedom, don’t they get how religion is not free? The two concepts are oxymoronic, and should be kept apart in the sphere of public policy.

Well...

February 15th, 2011
6:15 pm

For those who want a government run by religion, I invite you to move to Iran.

DJ Sniper

February 15th, 2011
6:18 pm

I’m very disappointed in the lack of backbone shown by the Senate. Kudos to the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the GA chamber of the National Federation of Independent Business for not backing down on their stance. As I’ve said on other blogs, it’s time for the religious right to stop forcing their beliefs on others. It’s really so simple: if they don’t want Sunday sales in their community, put it on a ballot and let them vote against it.

Td, why do you have such a problem with letting the people decide on this issue? Why do you feel that the beliefs of one group of people should represent all of Georgia?

dawgydawg47

February 15th, 2011
6:34 pm

Let us vote.

Isn’t there supposed to be a seperation of church and state. If so, where do these “Blue” laws come from? It’s common sense people.

LETUSVOTE

February 15th, 2011
6:42 pm

LET US VOTE.

Mason

February 15th, 2011
6:46 pm

So if it is aganist your religion to drink on sundays then just dont buy any, it is that simple. The fact that I have to drive to FL or TN if I want a brew on Sunday is just so unnessacery.

BE

February 15th, 2011
6:48 pm

if you do not want to buy alcohol on sundays then DO NOT. its that simple…

PR

February 15th, 2011
6:53 pm

Time for Georgia to come into the 21st century. Backwards biblethumpers are ruining this state. I don’t subcribe to their religious views, stay the hell out of mine.

Wild Turkey

February 15th, 2011
6:55 pm

It’s way past time to get this done. To hell with the Bible thumpers trying to tell others how to live their lives.

dan

February 15th, 2011
7:07 pm

I think that td is a communist. LET THE PEOPLE VOTE!

Jay

February 15th, 2011
7:07 pm

If it were something Christian conservatives wanted, you can be darn sure it wouldn’t die
In committee. In fact, they would demanding a state wide referendum, which is what should happen anyway.

Richard Calhoon

February 15th, 2011
7:12 pm

I say let Metro Atlanta secede from the rest of the state. Lets see what those dumbasses growing peanuts and raisin chickens without the tax money that comes from Atlanta.

What's good for the goose

February 15th, 2011
7:15 pm

Here’s my proposal, if I can’t buy liquor on Sunday, fine – no church services except for Sunday. All Weekend Night (aka – Wednesday Night services) (dinner, sermon, etc.)) are illegal.

See how that flys.

Tonya

February 15th, 2011
7:15 pm

LET US VOTE!

Politico

February 15th, 2011
7:19 pm

Every time you think Georgia might be easing its way towards the 20th Century (100 long years from the 21st), the Georgia Taliban once again rears its ugly head. How about freedom, Repubs? That’s what you’re supposed to stand for, not bigoted oppression and legislated morality.

Religious Freedom

February 15th, 2011
7:26 pm

We Americans are closely watching Egypt. Will democratic rule take over, or will the Muslim Brotherhood turn it into a theocracy. Will they create a religious police force like Iran’s?

Meanwhile, here in Georgia, a strong majority of voters want to be able to buy beer and wine on Sundays. We elected a governor who has stated he would sign the bill. Our state house has approved the legislation. And, the state senate has more than enough votes to pass the legislation. So what is the problem? The theocratic Christian Coalition, much like the Iranian clerics, has issued a fatwa: “This bill shall not come up to a senate vote.”

So what is it Senator Rogers? Do you stand for democratic rule and answer to the people, or do you follow the edicts of religious bullies, who use the law to impose their values upon others?

John K

February 15th, 2011
7:27 pm

The Talibangelicals just won’t be happy unless they completely control the lives of Georgians.

Anita

February 15th, 2011
7:28 pm

Georgia is so dang backwards. I am tired of religious people trying to decide for the majority. Let us decide when we would like to buy alcohol. For those that do not want to buy alcohol on Sundays then don’t! I’ll drink to that.

Greg

February 15th, 2011
7:29 pm

So the issue will be decided in a secret backroom vote. So much for open government, small government, local control, ethics in government. One party rules and to hell with anyone who isn’t connected enough to kiss the rings of the the kings. Way to go repuklicans!

BW

February 15th, 2011
7:31 pm

This is why I’m not voting for Republicans…pure hypocrisy. Limited government my ass…just another version of a nanny state…there is officially no real difference between the two parties if this comes pass.

Road Scholar

February 15th, 2011
7:37 pm

“If we don’t have a majority of our senators in favor of it,…”

Now, exactly, who is “our senators”? Only rpublican? All of the state’s senators including democrats? Only the religeous right taliban baptists senators afraid of the pay back?