CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Tennessee's bill to allow local votes on wine sales in grocery stores passed the Senate Committee Tuesday in a 5-4 vote.
The bill's next step is a vote by the Tennessee legislature. Previous efforts for the same type bill have been defeated for decades.
If passed in the legislature, local communities would ultimately decide if wine may be sold in their grocery stores.
The debate has brought debate from a wide group of stakeholders: liquor store owners, grocery store operators, religious groups and law enforcement officials, all weighing in on the possibilities.
Tennessee Lieutenant Gov. Ron Ramsey tweeted Tuesday "Pleased to see wine in grocery stores pass out of committee. A real and substantive discussion on the issue can now go forward -- finally."
A news release from the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association President Jarron Springer said "The Senate State and Local Government Committee has passed the wine in retail food stores bill, which is the first step in giving Tennesseans the right to vote on where they buy wine in their communities."