By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
State Senate OKs Sunday alcohol-sales bill
Placeholder Image

The Georgia Senate has approved a bill that would allow local communities to decide whether to allow stores to sell alcohol on Sundays.

The Senate voted 32-22 on the measure after more than two hours of debate, with Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, voting against the bill.

"Everybody assumed I was voting ‘yes' because it was in my committee, but the role of the committee chair is to make sure it receives a fair and open hearing, which is what I provided," he said. "People all over the county have asked me why I wrote the bill and think it was my idea, but it was not. Issues like this can take on a life of their own."

Supporters argued the measure was about local control. Voters in local communities would decide whether to allow alcohol sales on the Sabbath.

But opponents - including religious groups - said it was an affront to family values.

For Miller, it was about listening to the constituents.

"I gave my word, and my word is my bond, so I didn't go back on that," he said. "And Sunday sales of alcohol is the People magazine of Georgia government. We have so many more important things to be working on rather than spending time on this bill."

Supporters have been pushing the measure for years at the Capitol. The issue languished in the Senate rules committee for weeks before finally making it to the floor Wednesday, the deadline by which bills must pass at least one legislative chamber to have a shot at becoming law.

Staff writer Carolyn Crist contributed to this report.