Scott vetoes bill that would tear down Florida's liquor wall

Governor says he vetoed bill after hearing how it could affect small businesses


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott has vetoed a bill that would tear down the state's liquor wall.

The bill would have allowed grocery stores, big-box retailers and other stores to sell liquor in the same space as other products.

Wednesday's veto means that liquor still must be sold in a side store that is separated by a wall.

The liquor wall veto is Scott's first of this year. It came after heavy opposition from independent liquor store owners who said it would drive them out of business.

"I carefully reviewed this bill and I have met with stakeholders on both sides," Scott said in a letter to Florida Secretary of State Kenneth Detzner. "I listened closely to what they had to say and I understand that both positions have merit. Nonetheless, I have heard concerns as to how this bill could affect many small businesses across Florida. I was a small business owner, and many locally owned businesses have told me how this bill will impact their families and their abilities to create jobs."

Scott's office received 7,516 phone calls, emails and letters opposing the bill, compared to 1,174 in support.

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