According to various news reports, Georgia is just one of three states that allows no package beer, wine, or liquor sales on Sundays.
A variety of business groups and civil libertarians have been pushing for a change for years, but Governor Sonny Perdue always said that he would veto any change to Georgia’s stance. With Governor Nathan Deal apparently willing to sign a bill that would allow local voters to decide if Sunday package sales would be allowed in their communities, it looked like we’d see a change in the law.
But in the face of opposition from conservative Christian groups, a number of polls suggested that a majority of Republican voters would approve of the local-option law. But the support was hardly uniform across the state: while Republican primary voters in metro Atlanta support the legislation by significant margins, the picture is quite different in more rural areas. A number of Republican state legislators could possibly face stiff primary opposition if they supported the legislation.
For background, check out the excellent coverage from Peach Pundit, which focuses on the libertarian arguments, such as “Headed For Speedy Passage Last Week, Sunday Sales Bill Now Appears Dead For Session”.
Here’s Jim Galloway from the AJC: “Behind the Sunday sales stall? Fear of a church-driven backlash”.
Why all this focus on Republicans? Easy answer: the party seems to have a stranglehold on power in the state. And it looks like a minority of those Republicans — largely Christian conservatives who do not live in the metro areas that fuel the state’s economy — have been been given disproportionate power.