Bill passage is positive move

Published 10:49 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Residents of rural Alabama towns in dry counties may soon have an opportunity to vote on whether to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages within corporate limits, pending Gov. Bob Riley’s signature.

A bill sponsored by Clanton’s own Rep. Jimmy Martin would allow Thorsby and Jemison to host such a referendum. Towns as small as Maplesville, however, would not be allowed to participate because adjustments to the bill include a provision setting the population minimum at 1,000.

State Sen. Hank Erwin worked with Martin to make the amendments, although he did not vote in support of the bill. Both Erwin and Martin have indicated they believe the legislation is stronger than before.

While some towns will be disappointed about the population limit, we applaud our representatives at the state level for working together to get something before the people. This will allow more freedom of individuals and towns in deciding whether or not they want to allow alcohol in their local businesses. If the governor approves, and the people are allowed to vote, these towns — like Jemison and Thorsby — could have more revenue opportunities in the future.