Legislation that allows wine and liquor sales on Sundays is headed to Gov. Bill Haslam’s office.
The House approved the measure earlier this week and the Senate followed suit Wednesday.
Jax Liquor employee said Wednesday that—as of now—the downtown store isn’t going to open on Sundays because most of their customers are people who work downtown during the week.
Managing Partner of Imbibe also said he isn’t jumping to change the business’ schedule.
“We are weighing the pros and cons,” Brian Leutwiler said.
The Tennessean reported that the Senate passed the bill with the minimum number of votes and that there was a “rare, audible gasp” after the vote was counted.
Current law prevents wine and liquor from being sold on major holidays and between 11 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Monday.
The new law will allow sales on holidays, except Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, also according to The Tennessean.
Industry group The Distilled Spirits applauded the move and thanked Chattanooga Rep. Gerald McCormick for sponsoring the legislation.
The group said that the sales will be a major economic generator for the state and will bring in millions to retail stores and in state and local taxes.
The group’s vice president Dale Szyndrowski said in a prepared statement:
The Tennessee legislature has voted in favor of consumers and small business owners. Tennesseans want a convenient and modern marketplace that allows alcohol sales seven days a week—just like in neighboring states. It is important that shoppers are able to buy from local businesses and invest their tax dollars in Tennessee, instead of making a trip across the border.
Nashville’s WMOT and The Associated Press reported that Republican Andy Holt is one who spoke against the measure.
“It’s interesting to me that we can’t hardly have an activity in Tennessee now that we don’t all just get slap-dog drunk; that we put alcohol in every venue,” he said. “You know what we’re doing? We’re just extending it another day.”