It had appeared that Florida was on the brink of a major reform victory in the realm of alcohol retailing, but efforts to abolish the state's "liquor wall"--which required hard liquor to be sold in separate stores from other products--were suddenly halted when Florida Gov. Rick Scott vetoed the legislation. Gray Rohrer reports for the Orlando Sentinel:
"Florida’s so-called 'liquor wall' won’t be coming down after all.
Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a bill late Wednesday that would have removed a Prohibition-era law requiring liquor to be sold in separate stores from groceries and other retail items.
Twenty-nine other states have similar laws that allow spirits in the grocery aisles, but the bill gained stiff opposition from social conservatives concerned it would lead to increased alcohol consumption, alcoholism and underage drinking.
Yet it wasn’t those concerns that swayed Scott. It was the pleas of independent liquor store owners and workers that led to his veto.
'I have heard concerns as to how this bill could affect many small businesses across Florida,' Scott wrote in his veto letter. 'I was a small business owner, and many locally owned businesses have told me how this bill will impact their families and their ability to create jobs.'..."