On Wednesday, a rally is planned at the Georgia Capitol building to attempt to push the bill to a floor vote. I had mixed emotions about this, but @AtlantaBeer made a good point to me. To use a football reference – it’s a 4th down situation. The bill is there, and being discussed now. Even though there might be other potential legislation more important than buying beer on Sunday, the bill is in the lawmakers hands at this moment. Good point. Act now before the bill gets forgotten. Georgia’s new governor Nathan Deal said he would sign the bill if brought to his desk. The issue is just getting to Govenor Deal’s desk. Read the press release here:
Atlanta, GA — Georgians for Sunday Sales, a grassroots, bipartisan organization, will hold a press conference and rally on Wednesday, February 23 at 12 pm on the Capitol Steps (Washington Street side) to urge passage of a bill to allow local communities to decide whether local retailers should sell alcohol on Sunday.
Georgia is one of only three states in the country that does not provide some option for the off-premise sale of beer, wine, or liquor on Sunday. Because Georgia is the only state in the Southeast with a total ban on Sunday sales, we are at a distinct economic disadvantage. For many Georgians, the current law defies common sense. “The state allows us to drive to a restaurant on Sunday to buy alcohol, but the state won’t let us go to the corner store to buy beer to drink in the safety of our own home,” says Zak Koffler, one of the organizers of the rally.
Moreover, shopping patterns have changed in Georgia. Sunday is now the highest volume shopping day in many areas throughout Georgia. Yet customers who enter a retail store on Sunday are prohibited from purchasing alcohol. “As a busy mom, Sundays are the best days for me to do my family’s grocery shopping since our Saturdays are filled with soccer games, birthday parties, and other family activities. Yet, I have to make a separate trip to buy a bottle of wine,” says Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, a state representative from Decatur and mother of two.
Two bills to allow local communities to vote on Sunday sales are currently pending in the Georgia Legislature, Senate Bill 10 and House Bill 69. Both measures are being held in committee.