Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell exercised her prerogative under House rules yesterday to sit and vote on any committee in order to save the legislation (House Bill 610) which would allow for the sale of wine in grocery stores. Harwell’s tie-breaking vote took the bill out of the House Local Government Subcommittee and on to a full committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday March 12th.
Meanwhile, the counterpart legislation in the State Senate will be heard in the Upper Chamber’s Finance, Ways. and Means Committee on March 12th as well. Governor Bill Haslam has said that he has decided to remain neutral on the legislation, since his family owns Pilot Flying J which could potentially sell wine if the legislation passes. The Governor’s position means that if the bill passes, it will likely become law without Haslam’s signature.