KINGSPORT — Growing Tennessee’s economy and keeping state government fiscally strong are top priorities cited by Northeast Tennessee lawmakers for the next legislative session beginning on Jan. 14.
But one nagging matter could steal the legislative spotlight.
The lawmakers think this will finally be the breakthrough year for legislation that would allow localities to hold referendums leading to the sale of wine at the retail level.
State Rep. Jon Lundberg, who has carried the wine-in-grocery-stores bill in the House, continues to tout the legislation as lost revenue going across the state line.
“Bristol and Kingsport are prime examples of how we’re exporting our business to Virginia and other border states,” Lundberg, R-Bristol, said in a meeting between lawmakers and members of the Times-News Editorial Board. “People aren’t going over there to shop for wine. They’re going to buy everything else.”For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.