Hmmm... House's whiskey & Wheaties bill stumbles in second committee - Florida Politics

Hmmm… House’s whiskey & Wheaties bill stumbles in second committee

The House version of the “whiskey and Wheaties” bill stumbled and then face planted in its second committee hearing Tuesday afternoon.

The Walmart-backed HB 81, sponsored by Hialeah Republican Rep. Bryan Avila, would allow grocery stores and other retailers to sell liquor, rather than keeping up the so-called “liquor wall.”

The issue is a top priority for Miami Republican Sen. Anitere Flores and a boatload of retailers, but conservatives in the House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee wanted nothing to do with it.

Their message to Walmart and Avila: no whiskey and Wheaties this year. Or vodka and veggies, or cachaça and chicken.

They were also unamenable to a simple scotch and soda.

The bill was temporarily postponed during the committee’s 1 p.m. meeting Tuesday because, apparently, it didn’t have the votes to pass, which almost happened last month when it narrowly escaped the Careers & Competition Subcommittee with an 8-7 vote. Pulling up that vote record might give an indication of which lawmakers are squares.

Compared to the House, the Senate seems to be looking forward to some one-stop shopping for all their food and booze needs. Flores’ bill, SB 106, has already cleared both of its committees and is ready for a floor vote in the Senate.

It might not matter though if the House doesn’t clear Avila’s bill.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.
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