Today I bring you a very special See You Next Tuesday. It's particularly close to my heart because it involves the state where I live (Georgia), the subject matter that earns my livelihood (law), and the ambrosia that feeds my soul (alcohol). In honor of this delicious triumvirate, I give you:
See You Next Boozeday: the Georgia Blue Laws Edition
Georgia state Senate passed Senate bill 10 by a vote of 32 to 22. This bill would allow local Georgia communities to decide for themselves if they wanted to lift Georgia's current ban on Sunday retail alcohol sales. Though a far cry from mandating mimosas for everyone (the voter referendum I was advocating), the bill is a big step for Georgia, which has long tee-totaled on Sundays. It's set to be a revenue-booster, and since many Georgia counties already allow restaurants to serve alcohol on Sundays, it could also be one of those rare, ameliorative pieces of legislation that actually reconciles disjointed laws and makes the whole system a little more coherent.
Georgia is one of only THREE states in the country to completely ban Sunday retail alcohol sales. (And the other two aren't the bible-belters you'd expect; they're Connecticut and Indiana). So why only now, two years into the recession, and 80 years since Prohibition, is Georgia considering this bill? Largely because our previous governors, notably Sonny Perdue, have unequivocally promised that if such a bill passed the legislature, they would veto it.
|Just kidding. I'm not thirsty: this is my apartment.|
But Georgia's new Governor Nathan Deal has indicated he will sign this measure into law. Unfortunately, if we all remember our "I'm Just a Bill," this little bill has to be approved by the Georgia House before it can make it to the executive branch. And this afternoon, just hours removed from the painful sobriety of another dry Sunday, the Georgia House stalled a floor vote on the bill. And I, for one, am getting thirsty.
We're so close you guys! And yet, at any minute these William Henry Harrison-wannabes could destroy the prospect of Sunday retail sales. So get all your belligerent drunk friends to start hounding their state representatives and let them know we want Sunday sales. And while you're on the phone, also mention my next voter-referendum, changing the name from "Sunday" to "Sangria-day" or "Cabernet-day" or "Brunch." And then, hopefully, I can See You Next Boozeday!