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Changes made to county Sunday alcohol sales

The text of a bill that would allow a county vote on Sunday alcohol sales outside Troy has been changed since being reviewed by Rep. Alan Boothe, R-Pike, and Sen. Jimmy Holley, R-Pike.

Boothe said he and Holley chose to add a stipulation that alcohol could not be sold until after noon on Sundays if the policy is voted in and changed the language so that a referendum would include all qualified electors in the county.

Although the county commission had not included the parameter to limit alcohol sales on Sundays to after noon, commissioners later said they wanted to include that parameter to match the City of Troy.

“It was drafted after to mirror the City of Troy,” Boothe said. “That’s what we did on that.”

Because the limitation is included in the state bill, the commission cannot change that themselves.

“That’s the way it has to be,” Boothe said. “However it’s advertised, the law will have to be followed that way unless it’s amended, and then it would have to be advertised for four more weeks.”

Although the bill is not guaranteed to go before the citizens of Pike County for a referendum, changes to the bill’s language would simplify the process if it occurs by allowing Troy citizens to vote.

“I think it would have been a legal nightmare on how to do that,” Boothe said. “It would have been difficult. Some precincts are divided by the street, so it just would have been a nightmare.”

The bill also states that if a referendum is held, it must be with a regularly scheduled election.

The new text also clarifies that the commission has the choice to “vote at the table” as a commission or hold a referendum, but cannot do both.

“If the commissioners voted to put it before the people to vote and they voted it down, it wouldn’t be right for the commission to then go and vote it in,” Boothe said. “They can’t override the vote of the people.”

The bill was first advertised in the Jan. 20 edition of The Messenger, so the earliest that Boothe could take it before a House committee would be late February.

The bill would need to pass that committee, then the full House before being introduced by Holley in a Senate committee, then the full Senate, and then to the governor’s desk to sign.