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Changes To Oklahoma's Alcohol Laws One Vote Away From November's Ballot

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The state is a step closer to changing its alcohol laws after the Senate approved a joint resolution that would allow voters to decide if grocery and convenience stores can sell wine and strong beer.

On a 30-14 vote, the chamber sent Senate Joint Resolution 68 to the House for consideration.

If the House passes SJR 68, the proposal goes on the statewide ballot November 8.

State Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, is one of the co-authors of the legislation, told The Oklahoman’s Rick Green she hoped the House would take the measure up quickly in the final four days of session:

“There are some concerns that the House could get bogged down with other items and doesn’t ever get to this. My hope would be that the speaker understands how important this is to Oklahomans and that he would make it a priority.”

Under current law, strong beer, liquor and wine and strong beer are sold only at licensed package stores, which are closed on Sunday. Oklahomans can buy refrigerated low-point beer at grocery and convenience stores on Sundays, and until 2 a.m. other days.

Beer Distributors of Oklahoma President Brett Robinson and Tyler Moore with Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom both praised the legislation. It has been strongly opposed by Oklahoma’s liquor store owners.

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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