It’s being called the “Brunch Bill” or the “Mimosa Mandate,” and if you’ve ever waited until the afternoon to have a bloody mary with Sunday brunch in Savannah, you may want to pay attention.
Senate Bill 17 now working its way through the Georgia Legislature would give counties and municipalities like Savannah the option of expanding the hours that alcohol may be sold on Sunday mornings.
The proposal, approved 6-4 on Tuesday by the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee, would let local voters choose whether to allow restaurants and retail stores to start selling alcohol at 11 a.m. on Sundays, according to the Associated Press.
It still must gain full approval by both houses of the Legislature and be signed by the governor before it would become a law.
Currently, restaurants and retail stores in Georgia can’t sell alcohol until 12:30 p.m., and this hurts restaurants’ bottom lines, says the Georgia Restaurant Association.
The bill’s author, Georgia Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, does not drink, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. However, she finds it unfair the government-owned buildings, like the Georgia Dome, are not limited in the same way as private businesses, the newspaper reported.
The measure has been proposed before and each time has fallen short of the governor’s desk in one way or another.
During last year’s legislative session, a similar bill was blocked by Georgia Sen. Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, because it would violate a previous “compromise” between lawmakers and religious leaders about Sunday alcohol sales, Insider Advantage reported.