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Georgia Senate backs expanding Sunday alcohol sales

Georgians would be able to purchase alcohol at restaurants and wineries on Sunday mornings, under a proposal approved by state senators.

The Senate voted 38-18 on Tuesday in favor of allowing on-premise consumption to begin at 11 a.m. on Sundays.

Off-premise sales, such as those at supermarkets, would remain illegal until 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.

If the bill passes the House, earlier sales would have to be approved in a referendum on the local level.

Restaurant groups have been pushing for the bill, arguing that government-run facilities such as those operated by the Georgia World Congress Center do not face the same restrictions.

Republican Sen. Bill Heath of Bremen spoke against the bill. He says many of the problems that legislators are called to fix are rooted in alcohol abuse.