Tifton Gazette

Local News

February 15, 2007

Sunday liquor sales?

TIFTON — Georgia is one of only three states that still prohibit Sunday sales of beer, wine and liquor. The other two states are Connecticut and Indiana. That picture could change if bills introduced by a Columbus-area Georgia senator are passed.

Last week Senator Seth Harp (R-Midland) introduced two bills in the Georgia Senate which could allow retailers to sell beer, wine and liquor on Sunday.

Both bills require approval by a local referendum. The election would be paid for by the county.

“A special county-wide election would cost Tift County about $13,000,” said Jean Edwards, elections supervisor.

Senate Bill 137 would allow for the sale of beer, wine and liquor on Sunday after noon.

Senate Bill 138 would allow voters to decide if they wanted to allow all three (beer, wine and liquor) or just two (beer and wine) to be sold on Sunday after noon.

Should the bills pass, the election superintendent would call for an election to submit the question of Sunday package sales by retailers to the voters of the county for approval or rejection. The date and purpose of the election would be published in The Tifton Gazette once a week for two weeks immediately preceding the date of the election. If more than half of the voters approve, the law would pass.

“I’m not going to support it,” said State Sen. Joseph Carter (R-Tifton). “To say that Georgia is only one of three states that doesn’t have Sunday sales is not a compelling argument.”

Carter said normally he trusts the voters to decide issues but he felt this was “not an appropriate topic for a referendum.”

“What makes it great to live in Georgia and in small towns are the traditions. We have always treated Sunday as a special day. I would like to keep it that way,” he said.

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