homepage logo

Brunch bill passes unanimously in the Senate

By Staff | Feb 19, 2016

A bill that would allow restaurants, private clubs, distilleries, mini-distilleries and wineries in West Virginia to serve alcoholic beverages on Sundays was unanimously passed with 34 affirmative votes in the Senate on Tuesday morning.

While the bill is sponsored by Sen. Chris Walters, R-Putnam, all senators in the Eastern Panhandle including Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, Charles Trump, R-Morgan, Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, and John Unger, D-Jefferson, voted in favor of the Senate Bill 298.

“I know (this bill) is important to the hospitality sector in the Eastern Panhandle,” Unger said. “I’ve heard it would impact our area maybe more than others just because of the geographical location and the tourists coming in for weekend day trips.”

The bill, more commonly known as the “Brunch Bill,” would allow certain locations to sell alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

Unger said the only issue the bill might face in the House would be a change to the time alcohol could start being served.

“I think it should be fine; the time might be moved, but it’s a debate more in regards to the time versus the issue itself,” Unger said.

After the legislation was filed for introduction Jan. 15 it was referred to the economic development committee.

Early last week, representatives from the Jefferson County Convention Visitors Bureau and the Bavarian Inn of Shepherdstown traveled to Charleston to talk to legislators about the importance of the bill before its passage.

Annette Gavin, CEO of the Jefferson County CVB, and Christian Asam, president and owner of the Bavarian Inn, spoke about the “Brunch Bill” to legislators and how it could positively impact the Mountain State tourism industry last Monday.

Carol Fulks, Executive Director of the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association, also said the bill will positively impact tourism in West Virginia.

“I’ve heard from various folks in the tourism industry, and they say that this would help them as far as their businesses are concerned,” Unger said. “Most people I’ve talked to have been for this (bill) for some time.”

The bill has been ordered to the House.

For more information on the bill, visit bit.ly/20nawh7.