Corinth legislators won't back liquor vote

By Bobby HarrisonNEMS Daily Journal Jackson Bureau

JACKSON – No legislator representing Corinth is amenable to a request by the city’s Board of Aldermen to allow residents of the municipality to vote on legalizing liquor without participation by residents of Alcorn County.
While lack of support by the Corinth legislative delegation will more than likely keep the bill from going anywhere during the 2012 session, some House members said they understand a generic bill might be introduced to allow any city of a certain size to vote on legalizing liquor without county residents being allowed to participate.
Under state law, when votes are held to legalize liquor, it must be a countywide vote. Rep. Lester “Bubba” Carpenter, R-Burnsville, said voters in Corinth have supported the legalization of liquor by a wide margin, but the anti-liquor forces have prevailed due to a strong vote by county residents.
Both Carpenter and Rep. Nick Bain, D-Corinth, who represents the bulk of the municipality, said they have heard rumors of a generic bill being filed to allow all cities statewide of a certain size to vote on the legalization of liquor without input from county residents.
“I could not be for that either,” Carpenter said. “I have had too many phone calls from my constituents in the county.”
Bain said it would make sense to make it a generic bill instead of trying to single out Corinth, but, he said, he is “still not in position to vote for it.”
Rep. William Tracy Arnold, R-Booneville, also represents a portion of Corinth.
“Being a pastor, I am not for it,” Arnold said. “It is not going to help economic development. I think that is just a fallacy.”
Sen. Rita Potts Parks, R-Corinth, could not be reached Monday, but Carpenter said she, like the rest of the delegation, has said she would not file a bill to allow a city-only vote on the issue.
The sale of beer and light wine already is allowed in Corinth.
Within a matter of days in the early 1990s, Corinth voters approved the sale of beer in the city while the larger Alcorn County population voted out liquor, which had been legal.
bobby.harrison@journalinc.com