DENVER -- The fourth time was not the charm for a bill that would have allowed Colorado convenience stores and grocery stores to sell full-strength beer. The measure, House Bill 1284, failed to gain the necessary 33 votes to pass.
The proposal gained more traction this year, making it to the House floor for a full vote, than it ever has in four years. However, that may be a small consolation because the bill only received what appeared to be 19 votes, according to The Durango Herald.
Rep. Larry Liston (R-Colorado Springs) sponsored the bill in the House. After three hours of debate, Liston attempted to amend HB 1284 to allow voters to cast ballots on the measure in 2012. However, the House defeated that plan as well.
Currently, convenience stores and grocery stores are only allowed to sell reduced-strength beer; however, the proposed measure would have changed that but still excluded wine and spirits. If it had been approved, the bill would also have allowed individuals to receive licenses to open more than one liquor store, which is not allowed now. And it would have allowed liquor stores to sell non-perishable food, as CSNews Online previously reported.
Despite defeat on the House floor, a similar measure is still alive in the state Senate. Sponsored by Sen. Betty Boyd (D-Lakewood), the Senate measure would allow convenience stores -- not grocery stores -- to sell full-strength beer, as CSNews Online reported in March. That measure could be heard on the Senate floor this week.