Holley: Sunday sales bill should pass next week

Published 11:14 am Saturday, March 3, 2018

The county commission may get the chance to vote on what to do about Sunday alcohol sales as soon as its next meeting, said Sen. Jimmy Holley, R-Pike County.

The bill would authorize the commission to either vote directly on whether to allow alcohol sales after noon on Sundays or pose that question to county residents via a referendum.

The bill previously had been expected to reach the desk of Gov. Kay Ivey prior to the most recent commission meeting on Feb. 26, but the bill did not move as quickly through the Senate as it did in the House.

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“Everything broke loose,” Holley said. “Gerald Dial, (local legislation committee chair), said it should come out of committee next Tuesday and I should sign it out Thursday. It has good potential to get to the governor by Thursday.”

If the bill doesn’t make it to the governor’s desk by Thursday, only one more week would remain for the Senate to get it through in order to have it placed on the commission’s agenda for its Monday, March 12, meeting.

Even if the bill doesn’t make it out by that time, Holley assured that nothing would be wrong with the bill, only that it needs more time to make it out of the Senate.

The county has been pursuing this legislation since January, shortly after the City of Troy implemented a similar ordinance by a 3-1 margin at an October referendum.

County business owners have said the inequality of laws has put them at a disadvantage.

Commissioners are divided on how they want to handle the vote. Three – Homer Wright, Jimmy Barron and Charlie Harris – have said they favor voting on the ordinance directly as a commission. Two – Chad Copeland and Russell Johnson – have said they favor a referendum on the issue.

Chairman Robin Sullivan has declined to divulge which way he will vote.

County attorney Allen Jones said a tie vote would be carried over to the next meeting so commissioners can further discuss what to do.

The commission’s next meeting will be Monday, March 12, on the second floor at the Pike County Health Department. The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. and the business meeting will follow at 6 p.m.