If this picture from the Walgreen's on Charlotte is any indication, maybe there are reasons for optimism this year if you're hoping to pick up a bottle of Chard when you buy your Swiss chard. Last year, the proposed law moved farther than ever in committee, dying by a single vote before it could get to the floor. House Speaker Beth Harwell is somewhat positive herself, mainly thanks to the fact that the debate is no longer simply about the single issue of wine in groceries.
Finally, many of the involved parties have been discussing how to create win/win situations by a more substantial overhauling of liquor laws, which might include allowing liquor stores to sell non-liquor items and to stay open on Sundays. Editorials from newspapers across the state have come out in favor of the effort to free up the grapes, and polls show most Tennesseans favor the legislation.
A possible snag in the efforts is the resignation of Jarron Springer, president of the Tennessee Grocers Association and the main mouthpiece for the new laws. Springer leaves office Jan. 31 to become the new CEO of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. Someone new will have to lead the efforts and the Red, White and Food coalition that has led the grass-roots organization of consumers.
How will it end? There's no telling. But at least it's something for Capitol Hill watchers to obsess over that doesn't involve taking guns somewhere. We'll keep you posted.