Florida: Bill seeks to remove wall between liquor, groceries

Mark Willingham Uncategorized

Florida: Bill seeks to remove wall between liquor, groceries

 

One of this year’s most heavily lobbied efforts – relaxing an 80-year-old state law that requires liquor stores to be stand-alone facilities – has been uncorked for the 2016 session that begins in January.

 

Source: News Herald

By The News Service of Florida

Sep. 27, 2015

 

One of this year’s most heavily lobbied efforts – relaxing an 80-year-old state law that requires liquor stores to be stand-alone facilities – has been uncorked for the 2016 session that begins in January.

 

Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, filed a proposal (HB 245) Friday that in part would repeal the section of Florida statutes that requires retailers to separately house liquor sales and bars any opening that allows access to other goods.

 

During the regular legislative session that ended in May, the liquor store-door proposal was included in a wide-ranging measure that pitted companies like Wal-Mart and Target, which backed the plan, against independent liquor stores and Lakeland-based Publix. A watered-down version of the proposal failed to make it to the House floor for a full vote.

 

Wal-Mart and Target argue the proposal would increase convenience for shoppers, while Publix objected that its business plan keeps liquor and grocery sales separate. In contrast, allowing people to buy liquor as well as groceries and other goods is part of Target’s business model, which includes a push for smaller “express” stores in downtown sites.

 

A Senate companion to Trujillo’s proposal had yet to be filed Friday afternoon.