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Florida Governor Vetoes Controversial “Whiskey And Wheaties” Bill

May 25, 2017

Florida Governor Rick Scott has vetoed the state legislature’s so-called “Whiskey and Wheaties” bill, citing concerns over the effects on small businesses. Championed by Walmart and Target and opposed by independent liquor stores and Publix, Senate Bill 106 would have allowed spirits sales within grocery and other retail sales outlets. As it stands, Florida groceries and other such outlets wishing to sell spirits must do so in a separate venue apart from their main stores, which must have a separate entrance.

Walmart and Target, as well as restaurant and hotel organizations, pushed for the bill under the Floridians for Fair Business Practices coalition. Independents such as ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, joined by Publix, opposed the measure on grounds that it would hurt smaller drinks retailers and potentially increase underage access to alcohol. After considering the bill for weeks, Governor Scott eventually sided with the latter camp. —Shane English

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