The leader of the largest Christian denomination in the state begged state lawmakers not to expand what kinds of stores can sell wine. Until now, this year’s debate over wine in grocery stores has been about economics and fairness, not morality.

The legislation would ultimately leave it up to each city to vote on whether to allow wine in supermarkets. It’s similar to the way towns can vote on sales of liquor by the drink, and Randy Davis of the Tennessee Baptist Convention says such policies involving alcohol divide families.

“It gets bad in these towns over these kinds of issues,” he said.

A bill that would effectively block grocery stores from selling wine and liquor—and ban wine and liquor sales in new pharmacies—was approved today in a state House committee.

Under the legislation, grocery stores could still sell alcohol from an adjoined structure with a separate entrance. 

Current law does not allow people younger than 21 to enter a place which sells wine and package liquor, which has prevented sales in grocery stores in the past.

If a federal judge's ruling goes into effect, businesses that sell liquor in Kentucky may see increased competition — and those businesses are encouraging legislators to act before an appeals  decision comes down.

The top two Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly say they support allowing the sale of wine in supermarkets. With the influx of new GOP lawmakers comes the opportunity to reshape key committees where efforts to allow wine sales have long been corked up by opponents. 

morning cram [Sudanese cattle-rustlin' edition]

Aug 16, 2012

Today on NPR: In South Sudan, a man's worth is measured by bovine wealth, and ever-increasing dowries are paid in cows. Cattle-rustling is an age-old problem. But recently, these raids have become markedly more violent, and the new nation is having difficulty stopping them.

TN hopeful that state follows KY's wine sales ruling

Aug 16, 2012

Some Tennesseans hope their state will change alcohol sales regulations at grocery stores after a federal court in Kentucky found beer only sales at grocery stores unconstitutional. Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association President Jarron Springer says the current law is outdated, and that Tennessee is missing out on 30 million dollars of annual revenue with the low alcohol content level.

Afternoon Round-Up 8/15/12

Aug 15, 2012

KY's ruling on wine sales in groceries may affect TN revenue

Aug 15, 2012

The recent federal court ruling that Kentucky’s law against selling wine in grocery stores is unconstitutional may affect a similar law in Tennessee. Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association President Jarron Springer says their campaign “Red, White and Food” has long addressed this and that Kentucky’s court ruling will hurt Tennessee’s revenue if it doesn’t soon follow suit.