Liquor vote bill narrowly defeated

By

JACKSON – Legislation that would allow the sale of alcohol in any municipality in a dry county – if approved by voters within the municipality – was killed Tuesday by a narrow 60-59 margin in the state House.
Supporters indicated they would try again in the coming days. Liquor bills always present interesting dynamics in the Legislature with lawmakers from more rural areas normally less likely to vote in favor of the measures.
Under current state law, liquor legalization votes must be countywide. Liquor, though, can be sold only within municipal boundaries. The legislation defeated Tuesday would have allowed a vote solely within a municipality if 20 percent of the voters asked for it. In those instances, alcohol could be sold only by the glass in restaurants and hotels.
The bill could affect a city like Corinth in Alcorn County. Alcorn County is dry for the sale of liquor. Last year the Corinth Board of Aldermen asked the Legislature to grant Corinth resort status to allow alcohol sales by the glass in restaurants if approved by voters. But legislators who represent the city of Corinth haven’t filed a bill.
After the House rejected the proposal to allow any municipality to vote on the issue, it passed a proposal to allow alcohol to be sold in the city of Senatobia if approved by voters.
bobby.harrison@journalinc.com