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‘Brunch Bill’ to be placed on Nov. general election ballot

By Staff | Apr 15, 2016

Now that Senate Bill 298, better known as the “Brunch bill,” has been passed by the state legislature, it is up to voters in counties across the state to make the bill effective locally through a voter referendum.

The Jefferson County Commission has voted to place the topic on the general election ballot on Nov. 8.

County commissions may conduct a county option election regarding the sale and dispensing of nonintoxicating beer, wine and liquor beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays, according to the bill.

Jefferson County Commissioner Walt Pellish said Thursday the commissioners tried to find a way to place the topic on the primary election ballot for May 10, or hold a special election. However, he said, the bill makes it clear the item may only be placed on a primary or general election ballot.

The commissioners agreed there would not be enough time to change the ballots for the upcoming primary election.

Commissioner Jane Tabb said the county commission will have to send its request to place the brunch bill on the general election ballot to the Secretary of State’s office.

Chapter seven of the bill text provides the wording that will be on the ballot, and commissioner Patsy Noland said the item must go on the ballot as outlined in the bill.

If voters approve the measure, private clubs and restaurants, wineries, distilleries and bed and breakfasts licensed to sell and dispense beer, wine and liquor can do so on Sunday mornings.