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They made another pitch to the legislature today for a law to allow the sale of wine in grocery stores. More than 11,000 Tennesseans now have joined the grocery stores' Red White and Food
campaign to show they want the choice. In addition, legislative analysts have determined that it would generate $27 million in tax revenue for state and local governments.
"The number of people joining Red White and Food combined with Middle Tennessee State University's survey finding that 62 percent of Tennesseans support wine sales in grocery stores demonstrates this is a significant consumer issue," says Jarron Springer, president of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association. "We believe legislators should strongly consider consumer sentiment when deciding this session whether to allow retail food stores the opportunity to sell wine."
So why does no one think this bill will pass this session? It's simple. Liquor stores and the state's Christian crazies are against it. That's an unbeatable combination at the Capitol. Polls could show 99.9 percent of consumers favor it, and it still would lose. In his testimony to the House State and Local Committee, even Springer was forced to acknowledge the cold wind blowing in his face.
"Some observers are saying this legislation to allow wine in retail food stores is already dead this session," he said. "I know they wouldn't relay this information unless someone in power was saying it. I certainly hope you would hear all the evidence before making a decision."