A proposal to loosen wine sale laws in Tennessee has failed by a single vote in a House committee after members of the panel refused to grant the sponsor a week’s delay to negotiate a final version. The House Local Government Committee voted 8-7 Tuesday to reject advancing the measure, which would allow local referendums on whether grocery stores should be able to sell wine. Republican Rep. Jon Lundberg of Bristol, the bill’s sponsor, had asked for a week to discuss changes to the bill a day after the beer wholesalers association, a traditional opponent of the proposal, swung its support behind the bill as long as it included strong beer. The bill has been opposed by the state’s package store owners and the liquor wholesalers association. A special subcommittee was appointed on Tuesday to work out a final version of the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro. The Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association is in favor of changing store hours to match those for beer sales. The association would also allow liquor stores to start selling non-alcoholic items.
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