Here is what I said about wine in grocery store votes last year:
Every year, we are told it’s going to be different. Every year, someone tells us it “has a better chance of passing.” Every year, I hear the same arguments from the same people in committee. Every year, wine in grocery stores dies.
As a state government reporter, I can tell you I pretty much know how every vote is going to go down before it happens. Sponsors usually know how many votes they are going to have well before they decide to put it up for a vote. That’s why today’s Senate State and Local Government Committee 5-4 vote in favor of holding referendums on wine in grocery stores shocked me.
To be fair, the bill’s sponsor professed to have no idea how it was going to go either. Sen. Bill Ketron told us he only knew that it would pass 20 seconds before the tally was actually called out. Also, it appeared Sen. Reginald Tate made his decision as his name was being called to vote. He had previously rejected an amendment that appeared to be a bit of a test vote.
This is a huge step. But it is the first out of like a million steps. This thing has a long way to go. Next stop in the Senate is the Finance committee. In the House it must first get a vote in the Local Government Subcommittee. Both votes are uncertain.
However, today I’m shocked. For once, the people who told me this bill had a good chance of passing were right. However, I would caution everyone to not rush out to the grocery store looking for a good Cabernet just yet.