State question on wine sales delayed
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Saturday, August 04, 2012
8/04/12 at 5:25 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - An initiative petition for a state question that would allow some grocery stores to sell wine will not be circulated until next year, supporters said Friday.
A legal challenge delayed plans to circulate the petition in time to get the question on November's general election ballot.
The petition withstood a legal challenge earlier this year. But the challenge delayed efforts to gather the needed 155,000 signatures to make this fall's ballot.
Oklahomans for Modern Laws said the petition will be re-filed and circulated in 2013 with hopes that a state question will appear on the 2014 ballot. Organizers will have 90 days to collect the required signatures.
"This is an issue that is important to the growth and further development of our state," said Brian Howe, director of Oklahomans for Modern Laws. "Unfortunately, the protest of this question made the timing incredibly difficult for this election cycle. Instead of rushing the issue, we want to show the necessary due diligence, and take time to educate the public on the importance of this constitutional change."
The petition once again will be subject to challenge, said Lee Slater, an attorney for the organization.
Slater said a substantial portion of the new petition is identical to the one that was previously upheld.
"Now that our organization has petition language that has been deemed constitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, our effort will only be strengthened going into 2013," Howe said. "We will continue to gain support from individuals and businesses throughout the state and we look forward to bringing the wine-in-grocery-stores issue to the voters of Oklahoma."
If approved by voters, State Question 763 would let voters in counties of at least 50,000 people consider an expansion of retail wine sales. Counties affected include Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Creek, Garfield, Grady, LeFlore, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington.
Licensed retail outlets of at least 25,000 square feet would be allowed to sell wine.
Original Print Headline: State question on wine sales postponed
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465