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Floridians for Fair Business Practices

The hangover: Rick Scott vetoes ‘whiskey & Wheaties’ bill

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Saying it could hurt job creation, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a contentious bill that would have removed the ‘wall of separation’ between hard liquor and other goods. Scott filed his veto letter of the measure (SB 106) on Wednesday night, his deadline to act on the bill. It’s the first veto of a bill from the 2017 Legislative Session. It would have removed the 82-year-old requirement, enacted in Florida after Prohibition, that hard liquor be sold in a separate store. Beer and wine…

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Big-box chains, others make one last push for ‘whiskey & Wheaties’

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Costco now is joining Wal-Mart, Target and others in one last push to get Gov. Rick Scott to sign a bill to remove the ‘wall of separation’ between hard liquor and other goods. Their Floridians For Fair Business Practices coalition on Friday released a tranche of letters sent to Scott encouraging him to OK the legislation (SB 106) known by the nickname “whiskey and Wheaties.” They also include representatives of Whole Foods Market, the Distilled Spirits Council and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.…

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Interests for and against ‘liquor wall’ legislation react to passage

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The reaction to the Florida Legislature’s repeal of the state’s “booze wall” law continued long after Wednesday’s vote. The House, on a close vote of 58-57, passed the Senate’s bill (SB 106) to allow retailers to remove the ‘wall of separation’ between hard liquor and other goods. (Full story here.) The legislation now heads to Gov. Rick Scott. If signed into law, the state will end 82 years of mandating that retailers sell distilled spirits in a separate store from other items. Floridians for Fair Business…

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It’s “whiskey and Wheaties” all over again

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For the fourth year in a row, lawmakers will try to tear down the wall that separates tequila from tangelos. Senate President pro tem Anitere Flores on Monday filed a bill (SB 106) to repeal the Prohibition-era state law requiring businesses, such as grocery chains and big-box retailers, to have separate stores to sell liquor. Beer and wine already are sold in grocery aisles in Florida. “As legislators, we shouldn’t burden businesses with archaic regulations when they must be more innovative and…

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Retailers, business owners reaffirm call to repeal Florida “wall of alcohol separation”

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A coalition of Florida retailers and business owners are reaffirming “unwavering support” for the effort to repeal the state’s Prohibition-era alcohol separation law. In an announcement Friday, Floridians for Fair Business Practices (FFBP) doubled down on its support for “free market and pro-business values” while blasting opponents, who they claim are using “false arguments on competition and scare tactics in alcohol access to minors.” Florida is one of the 20 states with a separation law between liquor stores and other…

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New group enters ‘whiskey and Wheaties’ fray

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Groups opposed to an effort to do away with retailers having separate stores to sell liquor have banded together as Florida Businesses Unite. The new alliance includes ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, the Florida Independent Spirits Association and Publix, according to a Wednesday news release. For three years now, various lawmakers have carried legislation – or “whiskey and Wheaties” bills – pushed by Wal-Mart, Target and other big-box retailers that would ease regulations on the sale of alcohol. State Rep. Carlos Trujillo, a Miami…

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Grocery retailers aim to push “Whiskey and Wheaties” redux in 2016

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A legislative push to commingle whiskey and Wheaties will be back for a third time before Florida lawmakers next year. A coalition of national big-box stores and their allies will meet within the next two weeks to work on this year’s strategy, spokeswoman Christina Johnson said. Wal-Mart, Target and others formed Floridians for Fair Business Practices. They’ve wanted to repeal the Prohibition-era law that requires retailers to sell hard liquor in a store that is separate from groceries and other…

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