Ga. Sunday alcohol sales bill on ’back burner’

State Senator Jeff Mullis (R-53rd Dist.) co-sponsored a bill that would have allowed counties to vote individually whether or not to allow Sunday alcohol sales.

“My fear is that a state-wide bill could be passed in the next few years, mandating the Sunday sale of alcoholic beverages,” Mullis explained. “There have been similar talks and attempts to pass such a bill in previous sessions. The bill would simply give counties the option to vote whether they want Sunday sales.

“Let me emphasize that I would vote no in my district, but this bill would protect rural counties that do not want Sunday sales like mine, from having a law forced on them which they oppose.”
Mullis ultimately removed his name from the bill out of concern his aim was being misconstrued as supporting Sunday sales.

“I want to also note that the resistance I received from constituents was minimal, but I feared that my position would be misunderstood. Therefore I decided to remove my name.  The headline on local papers says, ‘Mullis sponsors Sunday sales’, and I believe this gave some people the wrong impression about my feelings on this legislation.”

Mullis said one of the arguments those in favor of Sunday sales make is lost revenue to neighboring states Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina. Bars and restaurants in Georgia are allowed to sell alcohol on Sunday, too.

For the time being at least, Mullis said the issue will ultimately be dwarfed by the state’s financial troubles.

“It comes up every session, and it is certainly gaining momentum in the metro areas,” Mullis said. “However, the current budget crisis is at the top of most people’s minds this year, and it could be placed on the back burner while we address an unprecedented budget shortfall.”

Georgia’s 53rd Senate District is in the northwest corner of the state near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Website: http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2005_06/senate/mullisbio.htm

 

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