It is alternately called “the brunch bill” or the “mimosa mandate,” but officially it is Senate Bill 17 by state Sen. Rene Unterman, R-Buford. It would correct an injustice that the author, the Georgia Restaurant Association, and many restaurant owners have complained about for several years. The proponents say: “Change brunch on Sundays.”

S.B. 17 would allow for local municipalities to opt-in to allow their restaurants to start serving alcohol at 10:30 am on Sundays. Currently, state-owned facilities such as the World Congress Center and Lake Lanier Islands Resort are permitted to serve alcohol starting at 10:30 am on Sundays— but all other privately-owned restaurants must wait until 12:30 pm.

For the third year in a row, the legislation was blocked by state Sen Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, who claims it would upset a “compromise” between legislative leaders and church leaders over allowing an alcohol sales on a Sunday morning.  Unterman and other legislators, however, felt that was not only a bad compromise at the time, it was also unfair.

So S.B. 17 missed the “Crossover Day” deadline for a bill to pass and transfer over to the House chamber. And Cowsert remains the No. 1 “villain” of the Georgia Restaurant Association and, according to polling, probably much of the public.



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