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Duluth legislator takes on Sunday liquor sales

Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, said it's not his job to pronounce bills introduced into the Senate dead for the year.

But the chairman of the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee may effectively have killed legislation allowing Georgia voters to decide whether to legalize Sunday sales of beer and wine in their communities.

Shafer introduced a resolution this week to create a Senate committee following this winter's legislative session that would conduct a general study of existing state laws governing the sale of alcoholic beverages and make recommendations by the end of the year.

Lawmakers often take the study committee route when they would rather take up a proposed bill later, if at all, than deal with it immediately.

A local-option Sunday sales bill introduced last week has been referred to Shafer's committee.

But on Wednesday, he said the measure is "flawed'' because it would allow beer and wine to be sold on Sundays but not hard liquor.

The bill would be a boon to supermarkets and convenience stores, which aren't allowed to sell hard liquor, but wouldn't do much for package stores that rely primarily on liquor sales.

"It doesn't legalize the sale of alcohol on Sunday, only certain types of alcohol sold in certain locations,'' Shafer said. "It raises questions of unfair trade and competition.''

Shafer said it also would be a waste of the Senate's time to take up the bill this year because Gov. Sonny Perdue, who doesn't drink, has hinted that he would veto it if it reaches his desk.

Baby boy Martin

Congratulations go out this week to Lawrenceville Councilman P.K. Martin.

Martin's wife, Amanda, gave birth to the couple's second child Jan. 21.

"Both are doing great," Martin wrote in an e-mail, attaching a photo of the baby and his big sister Charlotte.

The boy shares his father's name - Peter Kuhl Martin - but as the fifth generation with the name, he'll go by Kuhl.

He was born at 5:50 a.m. and weighs 8 pounds, 10 ounces.

Reminder

U.S. Rep. John Linder will hold his first tele-town hall meeting of the year Wednesday.

"Communicating with my constituents has been a priority for me since I was elected to Congress, and one of the most efficient means of doing that is through town hall meetings," the Republican from Duluth said. "With advances in technology, I have the opportunity to converse with my constituents on a much more frequent basis. That is what truly excites me about our tele-town hall opportunities."

To join in the event, call toll free, 1-888-316-9406, at

7:30 p.m. Wednesday with the pass-code "Linder Town Hall," and you will be placed immediately into the call.

"We are two weeks into the 110th Congress, and it is important that my constituents know where I stand. It is even more important that they have an opportunity to tell me where they stand," Linder said. "This is a new district for me, and I am a new representative for many. For that reason, I hope that many will participate and allow me to introduce myself and allow us all to exchange our ideas."

Linder's District 7 now encompasses Gwinnett, Walton and Barrow Counties as well as the northern portion of Newton County and a small portion of Forsyth County.

Staff Writer Dave Williams contributed to this report.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young @gwinnettdailypost.com.