Mimosa mandate bill pushes Sunday a.m. alcohol sales in GA

Georgia State Capitol. (Source: Gov. Nathan Deal/Facebook)
Georgia State Capitol. (Source: Gov. Nathan Deal/Facebook)

ATLANTA (WTVM) - A bill allowing Georgia restaurants to serve morning cocktails on Sundays has been filed in the state Senate.

The "mimosa mandate" is backed by a powerful GOP senator.

Chairwoman Renee Unterman (R-Buford) does not drink but said Senate Bill 17 is meant to correct what she considers a fairness issue.

While privately owned restaurants in Georgia are banned from serving alcohol before 12:30 p.m. on Sundays, government-owned buildings, such as the Georgia World Congress Center, do not face such restrictions and are free to pour.

Georgia once banned any sort of purchase of alcohol on Sundays, but lawmakers over the past several years have allowed Sunday sales if they were made after 12:30 p.m.

Similar efforts have been blocked over the past two years, saying it would upset a "fragile compromise" between legislative leaders and the faith community over allowing any alcohol sales on Sunday mornings.

State Rep. Brett Harrell, R-Snellville, who has sponsored previous versions of the legislation, has estimated that earlier pouring times on Sundays would produce almost $11 million in additional tax revenue for state and local governments.

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