Bid to put booze in grocery stores strikes out again |

Bid to put booze in grocery stores strikes out again

Helen H. Richardson/The Denver PostRobert Arrington, liquor manager for the Safeway store at 181 W. Mineral Ave. in Littleton, stocks shelves with bottles of wine. Grocery chains are allowed to designate just one store to sell full-strength beer, wine and liquor.

The legislature today once again refused to allow beer, wine and liquor from grocery store shelves.

Meanwhile, the fate of a ballot initiative with a similar aim remains unclear, with powerhouse supporters of expanding booze sales still deciding whether to throw their full weight behind it.

Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, told a House committee that she didn’t have the votes to carry on with House Bill 1279, which would have allowed supermarkets to purchase the liquor licenses of neighboring liquor stores.

She asked the committee to kill the bill she’s been negotiating for months, and said she thinks voters are likely to get a chance to vote on the issue this fall.

“I worked very diligently to make a compromise on this bill,” McFadyen said. “Undoubtedly, this will end up on the ballot. There will be millions spent between both sides, because we couldn’t reach a compromise here.”

A bill to allow full-strength beer sales in convenience stores died in the same committee earlier this year.

Liquor store advocates rejoiced in the hall outside the committee room.

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