House panel advances supermarket wine bill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A measure that would let voters decide whether their cities or counties allow wine to be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Jon Lundberg of Bristol passed the House Budget Subcommittee on a voice vote on Wednesday.

The proposal would allow cities and counties to vote on grocery store wine sales as early as November, but wouldn’t allow supermarkets to stock wine until at least July 2016.

The measure is similar to a version that passed the Senate 23-8 last week.

One of the few differences is that the Senate version would require convenience stores to have at least 1,200 square feet to qualify for a wine sales license, while the House version would set that limit at 2,000 square feet.