By Allen Duncan
Georgia is one of three states that still bans the sale of alcohol on Sundays, but a new bill could change that. Senate Bill 10 allows the governing body of each Georgia county and municipality to authorize the sale of alcohol on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
The bill was passed by the Georgia House of Representatives on April 12, after it was passed by the State Senate on March 16. On April 18, it was sent to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to be signed into state law. Prior to this, Gov. Deal had said that he would sign the bill if it came with a referendum option because he does not want to oppose local governments.
SB 10 does come with a referendum option.
“Let the people in those areas vote,” said State Sen. John Bulloch, a Republican from the 11th District, which includes Colquitt, Decatur, Early and Grady counties. Bulloch is the primary sponsor of SB 10 and insists the bill is about local control.
After the law goes into effect, counties could place resolutions on ballots as early as November. Some Georgia counties and municipalities, including Chatham County, are already discussing and planning a Sunday-sales referendum.
Atlanta will not be putting the issue to a vote in November because there are no other referendums or local elections scheduled for that time.
While Gov. Deal is expected to approve SB 10, the bill remains unsigned.Contact Allen Duncan.