Alcohol content bill advances, alcohol sales bill dies
House Bill 1422, which would raise the alcohol-by-weight limit in beer made and sold in Mississippi from 5 percent to 8 percent, had the motion to reconsider taken off it Tuesday afternoon.
It now heads to the Senate.
The bill cleared the House late last week, but had been held on the motion to reconsider since then.
This is more of a technical hurdle than anything else; the bill was never in danger of dying in the House because 22 representatives would have had to change their vote.
Rep. Hank Zuber, R-Ocean Springs, who presented the ABW bill, didn’t have similar luck with HB 928, which would have given blanket permission for cities in dry counties to pursue an alcohol sales referendum, given that 20 percent of the electorate signed a petition to do so. It failed by one vote, 59-60.
That bill would have effectively stopped the parade of municipalities in dry counties that converge on the Capitol every year looking for permission to hold a referendum on the sale of alcohol. (A good example of that is Senatobia, which sits in dry Tate County. Senatobia got what it wanted; the bill allowing referendum procedures to move ahead passed the House right after 928 failed, and now heads to the Senate.)
That’s a perfect illustration of the point Zuber made presenting the alcohol sales bill.
“We decide which cities will be winners and losers when it comes to alcohol, and it’s usually based on which city has political connections,” he said. “Let’s stop that practice and let the people back home decide.”