Petition pushes to expand alcohol sales in part of Bossier

Petitions seek to expand alcohol sales in part of Bossier Parish plus Minden, Ruston areas

BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - A push to expand alcohol sales in a part of Bossier Parish is underway.

Residents of Police Jury District 2 have seen the petition pop up in the Brookshire's store along U.S. Highway 80 in Haughton.

It's being shared by a consulting group working on behalf of Walmart and Brookshire's.

The goal is to get a proposition expanding alcohol sales in the district on the December ballot.

As of now, Bossier Parish stores and restaurants can sell beer and wine with less than 6 percent alcohol.

Only in Bossier City can beverages with higher alcoholic content be sold.

The proposal that might be put before voters is to allow beverages with alcoholic content above 6 percent to be sold in Police Jury District 2.

One reason proponents give for the proposal is to bring in tax revenue that's lost when people buy alcoholic beverages outside the area.

Any extra revenue brought in from alcohol sales would go into the Police Jury's general fund.

Some people already have signed the petition.

"It doesn't matter with me whatever they do. Why make it and don't sell it? It doesn't bother me," resident Lamar McClinton said.

Police Jury President Glenn Benton, who represents District 2, wants to make sure voters know he's not in charge of this petition, despite what he calls misleading wording.

He said he and the other police jurors aren't taking a position either way.

"I'm not endorsing it. If they get just under 1,600 signatures, then the parish by law has to put it on the ballot and pay for the election," Benton said.

"All I'm gonna do is put it on the ballot and put it up to the voters in District 2."

Benton said it would only affect his district.

Businesses in other Police Jury districts still would not be allowed to sell such beverages.

He also stressed that voters should be aware of the impact their vote could have if the proposition were to fail in December.

"It's a win or lose," Benton explained. "You are either gonna have 6 percent above, or you are gonna have no alcohol sales in that jury district.

"So I see it could hurt a couple little mom-and-pop stores if it votes down, because they can't make a living on bread and milk."

One-fourth of the registered voters in District 2 must sign the petition within the next 60 days to get the proposal on the ballot.

The registrar of voters will have to certify each signature as that of a valid registered voter in the district.

State law requires a two-step process to change alcohol law.

Similar petitions are being circulated in Ruston and Minden.

Petitioners are encouraging voters to visit the website finishtheballot.com to learn more.

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