Despite a strong grassroots effort by the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores (GACS) to legalize liquor sales on Sundays at convenience stores, state Gov. Sonny Perdue said in his strongest terms yet that he opposes the idea of allowing Georgians a vote on Sunday package sales of beer, wine and liquor.
Perdue was asked about the issue the day after a House committee tacked the Sunday-sales bill onto Senate legislation allowing beer sales on Sundays at Gwinnett County’s new baseball stadium. The governor, described by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution a Christian conservative who does not drink, said he had hoped the House would approve the Gwinnett County bill without the issue of Sunday package sales attached.
When asked by reporters if it was hypocritical to support legislation allowing Sunday sales at the stadium but not at grocery and convenience stores, Perdue responded that the Gwinnett bill is "for a specific purpose," the report said. "Six days is plenty" to allow liquor sales in Georgia, the governor said. "We need a little relief on Sunday."
Kathy Kuzava, a lobbyist for the grocery store industry, which is pushing the Sunday sales bill with GACS, responded, "We’re hopeful that, if the General Assembly was to pass the bill giving local communities the right to vote, the governor would give it the thoughtful and deliberative consideration it deserves before making his final decision."
Georgia is one of only three states in the country that does not provide some option for the off-premise sale of beer, wine or liquor on Sunday. GACS is behind a public relations push to get Sunday sales approved. Last month, the association, along with the Georgia Sunday Sales Coalition, which was formed by GACS and the Georgia Food Industry Association, is taking its fight for Sunday sales to the Web. The coalition today launched votesundaysales.com to rally public support for SB 137, a state law that would allow local voters to decide whether they want Sunday sales in their communities.