Bill aims to keep wine and liquor off grocery store shelves

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

The controversial topic of whether grocery stores should be allowed to sell wine and liquor on the shelves will be taken up by the legislature.

Last year a supreme court judge ruled the law banning grocery stores from selling wine and liquor is unconstitutional.

"What his ruling allows is anybody that wants to get a liquor license can place it in any store throughout the Commonwealth, and that is going to open up 600 more outlets for liquor," said Democratic Representative Dennis Keene.

Keene is sponsoring House Bill 310 which would only allow grocery stores to sell wine and liquor if they provide a separate entrance to an adjoining structure.

The bill also says only people over the age 21 would be allowed to enter without parent supervision.

"Any child can walk into any store where liquor is available without any adult supervision and that is our true fear," said Keene.

Right now grocery stores are allowed to sell beer, but critics of the bill say it is a matter of fairness and convenience.

The supreme court ruling is currently under appeal, but this bill would put grocery stores in the same situation they've been in for years.

Manager Fannie Young at Exit 56 Liquor in Hazard says liquor, wine and beer are the only things keeping them in business.

She says if grocery stores were allowed to sell wine and liquor it would hurt their business.

"We are just struggling to keep our doors and the lights on, but we are doing the best that we can," said Young.

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