Metro Councilman Charlie Tygard will introduce a resolution to place the question of wine in grocery stores on the next elections ballot.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It continues to fail on Capitol Hill, but state lawmakers may have found a way to make wine in grocery stores sellable.
Senate Bill 3577 and House Bill 2948 would allow cities and counties to hold a referendum on whether to approve sale of wine in retail food stores.
Metro Councilman Charlie Tygard said, "Should the State Legislature allow counties to determine their own fate, then Metro voters could vote to allow wine in grocery stores."
And they could be casting their vote by August.
Groups that are fighting to get wine in grocery stores believe, given the State Legislature's history, the 2010 session is their best chance.
"Politically speaking, it's an election year, so politicians are unlikely to pass anything that's viewed as controversial, so therefore something as innocuous as allowing each individual county to decide how they want to handle it may be a good compromise for those that are for or against this issue," said Tygard.
Tygard said if the state gives the okay, Metro needs to be ready, so he's introducing a resolution at the next council meeting that would place the question of wine in grocery stores on the next election's ballot.
"The advantage to Metro voters would be lets go ahead and have the opportunity at an August election where we wouldn't have to have a special election and go through the cost of all that," he said.
While Tygard believes uniform policy throughout the state works best, he said he's for Metro voters having a say on this issue.
"I'm not afraid of any issue the state is unwilling to tackle," he said, "and if this is the best they can do then I think it's something the Davidson County voters would like the opportunity to say, 'Yes it's a good idea for wine in grocery stores,' or 'No, it's a bad idea.'"