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Amerson talks state issues over breakfast

POSTED: February 1, 2012 4:00 a.m.
Michele Hester Dawson Community News/

State Rep. Amos Amerson, left, discusses issues Saturday with voters at Ryan’s restaurant. Dawsonville City Councilman James Grogan, far right, attended the breakfast along with Charlie Tarver.

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A bill that would allow free tastings of distilled spirits at distilleries for educational and promotional tours topped the discussion Saturday morning when State Rep. Amos Amerson sat down to breakfast with voters in Dawson County.

Dawsonville City Councilman James Grogan said he attended the breakfast to gauge Amerson's interest in House Bill 514, which would allow free tastings of distilled spirits at distilleries. The bill could have a direct impact on one that is currently awaiting permitting to open in Dawsonville.

Last year, the city leased an area inside the municipal complex to a moonshine distillery that plans to open in the next few months.

Amerson said he doesn't expect the bill to pass due to extreme lobbying by the liquor industry, but added there are back-up plans in the works.

"The liquor lobbyists are not in favor of anything that takes liquor sales out of their control," he said. "Without allowing sales on premises, it may pass out of committee."

Amerson said he has a similar bill he'd introduce that would allow the governing body to call for the referendum and let the residents vote.

The HOPE scholarship, school vouchers and state transportation issues were also touched upon during the breakfast.

Amerson represents the 9th District in the State House of Representatives, which includes parts of Dawson, Lumpkin and Forsyth counties.

He holds the informal breakfast meetings throughout the legislative session to keep in touch with his constituency.

"It's always good to hear what the voters have to say and what matters to them," he said.

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