The much awaited ‘Whiskey and Wheaties’ bill, which will enable big box stores like Walmart and Target to sell liquor on their shelves, have successfully passed the Florida House in the present session by just one vote. As it awaits the final decision from Rick Scott, the Florida Governor, opposition to the bill is doubling their efforts to encourage a veto.
A law allowing grocery stores to sell liquor (efforts initiated by Target and Walmart) was undoubtedly one of the most lobbied bills of the session.
Till now, a petition with signatures, totaling 3000, have been accrued from owners, customers, and employees for a veto. Yesterday, this petition along with 600 letters have been delivered to Scott. He has until May 24th to reveal his final decision.
Scott Dick, who has been lobbying for ABC Liquors that is based out of Florida, has revealed that he will be battling the bill till the end. He stated categorically, “You would see a smaller foot print from ABC and you would see a reduction in employment as well.” He is hopeful of receiving full considerations for the concerns that have been raised.
Supporters have raised concerns that the prohibition will affect their businesses negatively. Bryan Avila, the sponsor of the bill on the House Floor, has negated this argument by stating that similar laws in other states have not affected the normal running of businesses in any way. Interestingly in this regard, around 100 liquor store owners have pushed legislators to vote a ‘no’ on lifting the ban on selling liquor in grocery stores.
Until now, there have been more than 3000 documented letters and calls that have reached the office of the Governor in support of the bill.