Should a proposed bill in the Georgia Senate become law, businesses may be allowed to sell alcohol earlier on Sundays.
As it stands now, alcohol sales on Sundays are restricted until after 12:30 p.m., but Senate Bill 17 looks to afford cities the ability to authorize alcohol sales as early as 10:30 a.m.
The bill, nicknamed the "mimosa mandate" by its sponsor Sen. Renee Unterman in its current form is a word-for-word revival of House Bill 535 from the last legislative session.
"I was empathetic to when it was in the House, and I've done a lot of work with the Georgia Restaurant Association, ... so I told them I would carry it," Unterman said.
The previous house bill, which garnered support from the Georgia Restaurant Association and similar organizations, was blocked from reaching the Senate floor by Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert from Athens in the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.
Cowsert told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last session that the bill would disturb the "fragile compromise" between legislative leaders and the faith community over allowing Sunday morning alcohol sales.
“It offends the religious sensibilities of a large portion of the population,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In an interview with The Red & Black, Unterman argued that "our culture has changed."
"We're not all just Christians anymore in the state of Georgia. A lot of people go to church on Saturday now; they don't even go to church on Sunday anymore, so the old laws are not applicable," she said.
Unterman said the bill is a matter of fairness for the "diverse population in the state of Georgia."