- 2017 Legislative Session
- ABC Fine Wines & Spirits
- Distilled Spirits Council
- Florida House of Representatives
- Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association
- Florida Senate
- Floridians for Fair Business Practices
- Gov. Rick Scott
- hard liquor
- Lauren Schenone
- liquor wall
- SB 106
- wal mart
- wall of separation
- whiskey and Wheaties
- Whole Foods Market
Their Floridians For Fair Business Practices coalition on Friday released a tranche of letters sent to Scott encouraging him to OK the legislation (SB 106) known by the nickname “whiskey and Wheaties.”
It could be an uphill fight—as of Wednesday, the Governor’s Office reported 2,649 emails opposed to the bill and 315 supporting, as well as 3,245 people who signed a petition against the bill.
The office also took 177 calls against and 123 for, and 569 printed letters opposed and seven letters in favor—all from pro-bill coalition members, spokeswoman Lauren Schenone said.
The governor has till May 24 to sign the bill into law, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature. His office has said Scott will “review” the legislation.
It remain whether the “jobs” governor will be swayed by opponents—including independent liquor stores—who are calling the proposal a job-killer and asking Scott to nix it.
The bill passed both chambers on close margins: 21-17 in the Senate and a razor thin 58-57 in the House. Also, five House members who missed the vote voted ‘no’ after the roll call.
Filed every year since 2014, it removes the 82-year-old ‘wall of separation’ between hard liquor and other items enacted in Florida after Prohibition. Beer and wine already are sold in grocery aisles.
Among other things, the bill requires miniature bottles to be sold behind a counter and allows for a 5-year phase-in. It further calls for employees over 18 to check customers’ ID and approve sales of spirits by cashiers under 18.