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House ‘whiskey & Wheaties’ bill clears another panel — barely

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The House “whiskey & Wheaties” bill has limped out of another committee with a one-vote margin. And that was after its sponsor fixed a problem that could have cost the Department of Business and Professional Regulation more than $250,000 in lost liquor license revenue. The legislation (HB 81) cleared the Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday by a 7-6 vote. It previously stumbled out of the Careers and Competition Subcommittee on an 8-7 vote. The proposal, which aims to let retailers sell hard liquor…

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Is House splitting the difference over the whiskey & Wheaties bill?

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After the “whiskey and Wheaties” bill nearly whiffed in the House, a new twist was filed Monday evening. A proposed amendment on the bill (HB 81) would create dual “liquor package store licenses,” with “Type A” licenses going to stores keeping a wall of separation between booze and other retail items, and “Type B” licenses going to those who sell liquor in the same general space as other goods. Those getting a Type B license also must pay “an additional amount”…

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House whiskey and Wheaties bill stumbles in second committee

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The House version of the “whiskey and Wheaties” bill stumbled and then face planted in its second committee hearing Tuesday afternoon. The Walmart-backed HB 81, sponsored by Hialeah Republican Rep. Bryan Avila, would allow grocery stores and other retailers to sell liquor, rather than keeping up the so-called “liquor wall.” The issue is a top priority for Miami Republican Sen. Anitere Flores and a boatload of retailers, but conservatives in the House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee wanted nothing to do with it.…

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‘Whiskey and Wheaties’ bill squeaks out of House panel

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House members served up a sour version of the “whiskey and Wheaties” bill Wednesday as it barely cleared its first committee. The Careers and Competition Subcommittee cleared the legislation (HB 81) by a vote of 8-7, with the panel’s chair, Monticello Republican Halsey Beshears, voting against it. This is the fourth year a version of the bill has been filed. It aims to repeal the Prohibition-era state law requiring businesses, such as grocery chains and big-box retailers, to have separate…

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State could wed whiskey and Wheaties, but at what cost?

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Lost in the rush to get the “whiskey and Wheaties” bill over the finish line this year is the incredible toll it might take on independently-owned liquor stores. The Senate bill (SB 106) that would tear down the “wall of separation” between hard liquor and other retail goods already zoomed through its committees and is now ready to be considered by the full chamber when the 2017 Legislative Session kicks off on March 7. The House bill (HB 81) is teed up…

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“Whiskey and Wheaties” bill now cleared for Senate floor

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A Senate bill to remove the “wall of separation” between hard liquor and other retail goods won approval from a second committee, clearing it to be considered by the full Senate. The bill sparked an unexpected objection from National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer after an amendment came up banning liquor from being sold in the same store as guns and ammo. The Rules Committee on Thursday OK’d the legislation (SB 106) by a 6-4 vote, with Democrats and prominent Republicans in opposition.…

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Amendment would slow down effect of ‘whiskey and Wheaties’ bill

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State Sen. Bill Galvano Wednesday filed an amendment to this year’s “whiskey and Wheaties” legislation to “slow its implementation so it doesn’t come into the marketplace all at once.” The bill (SB 106), filed for four years running, would 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. Galvano, a Bradenton Republican expected to be Senate President in 2018-20,…

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